The departed: the filmmakers we lost in 2020

Our roll call of film figures who passed away in 2020, compiled by Bob Mastrangelo, with links to individual obituaries.

29 December 2020

By Bob Mastrangelo

Sean Connery in Goldfinger (1964)
Sight and Sound


Orson Bean (22 July 1928 – 7 Feb 2020): actor and comedian who was long a staple of US TV and had some notable supporting roles in films (Anatomy of a Murder; Being John Malkovich).

Honor Blackman (22 Aug 1925 – 5 Apr 2020): started her career with Rank but found greater fame in action roles, as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger and Cathy Gale on TV’s The Avengers.

Lucia Bosè (28 Jan 1931 – 23 Mar 2020): Italian actor who starred in films for Antonioni, Buñuel and Juan Antonio Bardem (Story of a Love Affair; Death of a Cyclist; Cela s’appelle l’aurore). [Philip Kemp pays tribute in our Winter 2020-21 issue.]

Lucia Bose

Chadwick Boseman (29 Nov 1976 – 28 Aug 2020): brought to life such historical figures as Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown and transformed Marvel’s T’Challa/Black Panther into a pop culture phenomenon. [Christina Newland pays tribute in our Winter 2020-21 issue.]

Wilford Brimley (27 Sept 1934 – 1 Aug 2020): played crusty but lovable old-timers and also made for a surprisingly good villain (The Natural; Cocoon; The Firm).

Thomas Jefferson Byrd (15 June 1950 – 3 Oct 2020): frequently played supporting roles for Spike Lee (Get on the Bus; Red Hook Summer).

Earl Cameron (8 Aug 1917 – 3 July 2020): Bermudian actor who was a pioneer among Black performers in Britain (Pool of London; Flame in the Streets; The Interpreter).

Diana Serra Cary (aka Baby Peggy Montgomery) (29 Oct 1918 – 24 Feb 2020): child star of silent films (Carmen Jr; Captain January) who years later became an accomplished film historian and memoirist.

Daniel Cauchy (13 Mar 1930 – 7 May 2020): French actor who was twice used by Jean-Pierre Melville (When You Read This Letter; Bob le flambeur) and co-starred in Touchez pas au grisbi.

Marge Champion (2 Sept 1919 – 21 Oct 2020): served as the movement model for Disney’s Snow White and danced in musicals with her husband Gower (Give a Girl a Break).

Hélène Châtelain (28 Dec 1935 – 11 Apr 2020): played the woman who unforgettably opens her eyes at a pivotal moment in La Jetée, and went on to direct documentaries and shorts.

Soumitra Chatterjee (19 Jan 1935 – 15 Nov 2020): star of Bengali cinema known for his 30-year association with Satyajit Ray, beginning with Apur Sansar, who was also a poet, playwright and theatre director.

The World of Apu (Apu Sansar, 1959)

Sean Connery (25 Aug 1930 – 31 Oct 2020): the original – and definitive – James Bond who remained a major star for 40 years (Dr. No; Marnie; The Man Who Would Be King; The Untouchables).

Ben Cooper (30 Sept 1933 – 24 Feb 2020): acted in numerous westerns, notably as Turkey in Johnny Guitar, and also played Marisa Pavan’s love interest in The Rose Tattoo.

Linda Cristal (23 Feb 1931 – 27 June 2020): Argentinian actor who spent most of her career in Hollywood, active in films (The Alamo; Two Rode Together) and on TV’s The High Chaparral.

Ben Cross (16 Dec 1947 – 18 Aug 2020): worked steadily in TV (The Far Pavilions) and films (First Knight) for more than 40 years and had his best role as Harold Abrahams in Chariots of Fire.

Olivia de Havilland (1 July 1916 – 26 July 2020): Hollywood giant who successfully fought to break out of ingénue roles and won a critical battle against the studio contract system with her lawsuit against Warner Bros (Gone with the Wind; To Each His Own; The Snake Pit; The Heiress).

Suzy Delair (31 Dec 1917 – 15 Mar 2020): actor and singer who starred in thrillers for Henri-Georges Clouzot (The Murderer Lives at Number 21; Quai des Orfèvres).

Brian Dennehy (9 July 1938 – 15 Apr 2020): brought a strong presence to a wide variety of roles (First Blood; The Belly of the Architect; Presumed Innocent) but truly thrived on the stage.

Kirk Douglas (9 Dec 1916 – 5 Feb 2020): one of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the post-war years who played a much debated role in ending the blacklist (Champion; Lust for Life; Paths of Glory; Spartacus).

Hilary Dwyer (aka Hilary Heath) (6 May 1945 – 30 Mar 2020): played the brutalised Sara in Witchfinder General and Isabella Linton in 1970’s Wuthering Heights before becoming a producer (Nil by Mouth).

John Ericson (25 Sept 1926 – 3 May 2020): had prominent supporting roles for MGM while playing leads for Poverty Row studios (Teresa; Bad Day at Black Rock; Oregon Passage).

Sergio Fantoni (7 Aug 1930 – 17 Apr 2020): Italian actor, most prominent in the 1960s (I Delfini; What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?).

Rhonda Fleming (10 Aug 1923 – 14 Oct 2020): glamorous red-headed star of Technicolor adventures, noirs and westerns (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court; Cry Danger; Gunfight at the O.K. Corral).

John Fraser (18 Mar 1931 – 7 Nov 2020): leading man who, after the 1960s, concentrated on stage acting and writing books (El Cid; The Trials of Oscar Wilde; Repulsion).

Allen Garfield (22 Nov 1939 – 7 Apr 2020): actor who was frequently cast as obnoxious or anxious characters (The Conversation; Nashville; The Stunt Man).

Juliette Gréco (7 Feb 1927 – 23 Sept 2020): revered French singer, actor and cultural figure who also worked in Hollywood (When You Read This Letter; Crack in the Mirror).

Juliette Greco

Irm Hermann (4 Oct 1942 – 26 May 2020): prolific German actor who co-starred in more than 20 films for Fassbinder (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant; The Merchant of Four Seasons).

Ian Holm (12 Sept 1931 – 19 June 2020): versatile actor (Alien; Chariots of Fire; The Sweet Hereafter) who had a late triumph as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films.

Enrique Irazoqui (5 July 1944 – 16 Sept 2020): Spanish non-professional actor who played the lead role of Jesus Christ in The Gospel According to St. Matthew.

Zizi Jeanmaire (29 Apr 1924 – 17 July 2020): French ballerina, cabaret performer and actor whose brief film career included memorable dances in Hans Christian Andersen and Black Tights.

Barbara Jefford (26 July 1930 – 12 Sept 2020): stage veteran whose eclectic film credits include playing Molly Bloom in Ulysses and leading roles for Hammer and Fellini.

Terry Jones (1 Feb 1942 – 21 Jan 2020): actor, writer and director who transformed comedy as part of the Monty Python team, then branched out as an author, historian and documentary filmmaker.

Rishi Kapoor (4 Sept 1952 – 30 Apr 2020): leading Bollywood star who was a member of Indian cinema’s pre-eminent family (Bobby; Amar Akbar Anthony; Karz).

Jack Kehoe (21 Nov 1934 – 14 Jan 2020): character actor who made the most out of smaller parts (Serpico; The Sting; The Untouchables).

Paula Kelly (21 Oct 1942 – 8 Feb 2020): made a striking screen debut in Sweet Charity and co-starred in The Spook Who Sat by the Door and Once upon a Time… When We Were Colored.

Irrfan Khan (7 Jan 1967 – 29 Apr 2020): charismatic star of Hindi cinema who also found success in the UK and Hollywood (The Warrior; Maqbool; Slumdog Millionaire; Life of Pi).

Shirley Knight (5 July 1936 – 22 Apr 2020): gifted actor who turned to TV as film roles became scarcer (Sweet Bird of Youth; The Rain People).

Michael Lonsdale (24 May 1931 – 21 Sept 2020): brought a quietly powerful presence to films by Truffaut, Duras, Rivette, Buñuel, Zinnemann and Xavier Beauvois, and also played a Bond villain in Moonraker.

Vera Lynn (20 Mar 1917 – 18 June 2020): beloved singer who occasionally starred in films during the war and whose voice is heard over the finale of Dr. Strangelove.

Linda Manz (20 Aug 1961 – 14 Aug 2020): made a big impression as a teenager with her performances in Days of Heaven and Out of the Blue, then largely vanished until her supporting role in Gummo.

Linda Manz in Out of the Blue (1980)

Michael Medwin (18 July 1923 – 26 Feb 2020): supporting player who was very active in the post-war years (The Intruder; Bang! You’re Dead) and had a second career as a producer (If….).

Monique Mercure (14 Nov 1930 – 16 May 2020): won best actress at Cannes for J.A. Martin Photographer and had standout roles in Mon oncle Antoine and Naked Lunch.

Miura Haruma (5 Apr 1990 – 18 July 2020): rising star of Japanese TV and films (The Eternal Zero; Attack on Titan).

Philippe Nahon (24 Dec 1938 – 19 Apr 2020): found late-career attention for his roles in horror movies and as the butcher in three films for Gaspar Noé (I Stand Alone; Switchblade Romance).

Lori Nelson (15 Aug 1933 – 23 Aug 2020): leading lady who was Barbara Stanwyck’s daughter in All I Desire and played opposite the Gill-Man in Revenge of the Creature.

Daria Nicolodi (19 June 1950 – 26 Nov 2020): actor who was at the forefront of Italian horror, especially during her years with Dario Argento (Deep Red; Tenebrae), with whom she also co-wrote Suspiria.

Nimmi (18 Feb 1933 – 25 Mar 2020): Bollywood star who was at the height of her fame in the 1950s (Aan; Kundan; Basant Bahar).

Margaret Nolan (29 Oct 1943 – 5 Oct 2020): played Dink the masseuse in Goldfinger and was the woman in gold for its classic title sequence and later was a regular in the Carry On films.

Geoffrey Palmer (4 June 1927 – 5 Nov 2020): worked sporadically in films (The Madness of King George; Mrs. Brown) and made a lasting impression on TV sitcoms (As Time Goes By).

Nicholas Parsons (10 Oct 1923 – 28 Jan 2020): veteran radio and TV performer, quizmaster and film supporting actor, mostly in comedies (Happy Is the Bride; Murder Ahoy).

Michel Piccoli (27 Dec 1925 – 12 May 2020): actor whose intelligent, low-key, slightly mysterious persona made him a giant of French cinema (Le Mépris; Belle de jour; La Grande Bouffe; La Belle Noiseuse).

La Belle Noiseuse (1991)

Kelly Preston (13 Oct 1962 – 12 July 2020): first gained notice in 1980s teen comedies, was leading lady to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Twins and punched out Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire.

David Prowse (1 July 1935 – 28 Nov 2020): weightlifting champion turned actor who was Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Wojciech Pszoniak (2 May 1942 – 19 Oct 2020): Polish actor who was especially known for his work with Andrzej Wajda (Danton; Korczak).

Sushant Singh Rajput (21 Jan 1986 – 14 June 2020): actor who emerged in the 2010s as one of Bollywood’s most promising young stars (Kai Po Che; M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story).

Tommy Rall (27 Dec 1929 – 6 Oct 2020): dancer-actor who delivered show-stopping, acrobatic performances in musicals (Kiss Me Kate; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; My Sister Eileen).

Gene Reynolds (4 Apr 1923 – 3 Feb 2020): young actor of the 1930s and 40s (Of Human Hearts; Boys Town) who made a bigger impact as a TV producer-director (M*A*S*H).

Diana Rigg (20 July 1938 – 10 Sept 2020): had a distinguished career on stage, TV and film (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; Theatre of Blood) and made her greatest cultural impact as Emma Peel on TV’s The Avengers.

Diana Rigg

Maurice Roëves (19 Mar 1937 – 15 July 2020): played Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses and had a long career in supporting roles (Hidden Agenda; Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans).

Annie Ross (25 July 1930 – 21 July 2020): jazz singer who carved out a side career as an actor (Superman III; Short Cuts).

Reni Santoni (21 Apr 1938 – 1 Aug 2020): familiar character actor who was Clint Eastwood’s rookie partner in Dirty Harry and played a rare lead role in Carl Reiner’s Enter Laughing.

John Saxon (5 Aug 1936 – 25 July 2020): faced off against Marlon Brando in The Appaloosa, was Bruce Lee’s ally in Enter the Dragon and worked in Italian horror and gialli (The Girl Who Knew Too Much).

John Sessions (11 Jan 1953 – 2 Nov 2020): comedian celebrated as an impressionist who also acted in films, from Shakespeare to prime ministers (Radford’s The Merchant of Venice; The Iron Lady).

Joe Shishido (6 Dec 1933 – 21 Jan 2020): actor whose cool screen persona defined the Nikkatsu action pictures of the 1960s (Youth of the Beast; A Colt Is My Passport; Branded to Kill).

Joe Sushido

John Shrapnel (27 Apr 1942 – 14 Feb 2020): actor who brought an air of authority to such films as Gladiator and K-19: The Widowmaker.

Flor Silvestre (16 Aug 1930 – 25 Nov 2020): actor and singer from Mexican cinema’s golden age (El bolero de Raquel; Animas trujano).

Volker Spengler (16 Feb 1939 –  8 Feb 2020): was a regular of Fassbinder’s stock company, playing the lead in In a Year with 13 Moons.

Jerry Stiller (8 June 1927 – 11 May 2020): excitable actor and comedian of TV (Seinfeld) and films (Hairspray; Zoolander) who frequently teamed with his wife, Anne Meara, and son Ben Stiller.

Takeuchi Yuko (1 Apr 1980 – 27 Sept 2020): popular actor of Japanese TV (Miss Sherlock) and films (Yomigaeri; Creepy).

Dyanne Thorne (14 Oct 1936 – 28 Jan 2020): star of grindhouse fare who became an unlikely cult figure in the title role of the notorious Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS and its sequels.

Ann E. Todd (26 Aug 1931 – 7 Feb 2020): child and teen actor of the 1930s and 40s who quit showbiz for a career as a university librarian (Ratoff’s Intermezzo; Three Daring Daughters).

Birol Unel (18 Aug 1961 – 3 Sept 2020): Turkish-German actor whose best-known roles were for Fatih Akin (Head-On; Soul Kitchen).

Leonardo Villar (25 July 1923 – 3 July 2020): played the lead in Brazil’s only Palme d’Or winner, The Given Word, and starred in several other classics of Brazilian cinema.

Max von Sydow (10 Apr 1929 – 8 Mar 2020): was one of cinema’s most respected actors for more than 60 years (The Emigrants; The Exorcist; Pelle the Conqueror), but earned everlasting fame with his long collaboration with Ingmar Bergman.

Watari Tetsuya (28 Dec 1941 – 10 Aug 2020): made his reputation starring in yakuza films for Suzuki Seijun (Tokyo Drifter) and Fukasaku Kinji (Graveyard of Honor).

Jon Whiteley (19 Feb 1945 – 16 May 2020): child actor who received a special juvenile Oscar for The Kidnappers and co-starred in Hunted and Moonfleet before becoming a distinguished art historian.

Stuart Whitman (1 Feb 1928 – 16 Mar 2020): rugged actor who played leads in the 1960s before increasingly moving into TV (The Mark; Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines).

Fred Willard (18 Sept 1933 – 15 May 2020): excelled at improv comedy and was a core member of Christopher Guest’s stock company (Waiting for Guffman; Best in Show).

Barbara Windsor (6 August 1937 – 10 December 2020): popular English actor who starred in Joan Littlewood’s Sparrow’s Can’t Sing in 1963, and went on to find fame in the ‘Carry On’ films, and in BBC soap EastEnders.

Sonja Ziemann (8 Feb 1926 – 17 Feb 2020): actor who was a major star of the Heimatfilm genre in West Germany’s post-war years (The Black Forest Girl; The Heath Is Green).


Kelly Asbury (15 Jan 1960 – 26 June 2020): director of animated features who had hits for DreamWorks and Disney (Shrek 2; Gnomeo & Juliet).

Kobe Bryant (23 Aug 1978 – 26 Jan 2020): basketball superstar who won an Oscar for the animated short Dear Basketball, becoming the first African-American to win in that category.

Gene Deitch (8 Aug 1924 – 16 Apr 2020): animation writer-director who revitalised the Terrytoons studio, directed the Oscar-winning short Munro and created the cartoon series Tom Terrific and Nudnik.

Vatroslav Mimica (25 June 1923 – 15 Feb 2020): Croatian writer-director with the Zagreb school of animation who shifted to live-action filmmaking (Alone; Prometheus from the Island of Visevica).

Sue Nichols (10 June 1965 – 1 Sept 2020): visual development and story artist who was an important contributor to the Disney revival of the 1990s and 2000s (Hercules; The Princess and the Frog).

Juan Padrón (29 Jan 1947 – 24 Mar 2020): pioneer of Cuban animation, including making its first animated feature (Elpidio Valdés; Vampires in Havana).

Ann Sullivan (10 Apr 1929 – 13 Apr 2020): animator who served as a painter on such Disney features as The Lion King, Mulan and Lilo & Stitch.


Michael Chapman (21 Nov 1935 – 20 Sept 2020): protégé of Gordon Willis who graduated to full DP with The Last Detail and went on to shoot Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Fugitive.

Michael Chapman (centre) with Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese during the filming of Raging Bull (1980)

Alfio Contini (19 Sept 1927 – 23 Mar 2020): Italian cinematographer for Antonioni (Zabriskie Point), Liliana Cavani (The Night Porter) and especially Dino Risi (Il sorpasso).

Allen Daviau (14 June 1942 – 15 Apr 2020): DP who shot features for Spielberg in the 1980s and Barry Levinson in the 1990s (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial; The Color Purple; Bugsy).

Igor Luther (5 Aug 1942 – 7 June 2020): Slovak cinematographer whose international credits include work with Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum) and Andrzej Wajda (Danton).

Peter Sova (25 Sept 1944 – 27 Aug 2020): cinematographer who shot four films for Barry Levinson, five for Paul McGuigan, and Donnie Brasco for Mike Newell.

Diane Tammes (10 Apr 1942 – 30 May 2020): England’s first accredited female cinematographer who shot features (Riddles of the Sphinx; Crystal Gazing) and globe-trotting documentaries for TV.

Kent L. Wakeford (23 Jan 1928 – 10 Oct 2020): important early collaborator of Scorsese, serving as DP on Mean Streets and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

Composers & Musicians

S.P. Balasubrahmanyam (4 June 1946 – 25 Sept 2020): one of Indian cinema’s premier playback singers who performed on more than 1000 soundtracks over more than 50 years (Sankarabharanam; Roja).

Al Kasha (22 Jan 1937 – 14 Sept 2020): composer who teamed with Joel Hirschhorn to write the Oscar-winning songs for the disaster movies The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno.

Johnny Mandel (23 Nov 1925 – 29 June 2020): composer-arranger who wrote many film scores but is best known for his theme songs for The Americanization of Emily, The Sandpiper and M*A*S*H.

Ennio Morricone (10 Nov 1928 – 6 July 2020): highly influential composer celebrated for his unforgettable scores for Sergio Leone as well as The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Mission, Cinema Paradiso, The Hateful Eight and many others.

Ennio Morricone
Hellestad Run for Corbis Sigma

Lennie Niehaus (1 June 1929 – 28 May 2020): jazz saxophonist who worked closely with Clint Eastwood as a composer and orchestrator on more than 20 films (Bird; Unforgiven).

Krzysztof Penderecki (23 Nov 1933 – 29 Mar 2020): celebrated Polish composer who wrote some film scores (The Saragossa Manuscript) and whose work was utilised in many other films (The Exorcist).

Adam Schlesinger (31 Oct 1967 – 1 Apr 2020): singer-songwriter whose work encompassed rock, pop, musical theatre, TV and movies (That Thing You Do!; Music and Lyrics).


Suzana Amaral (28 Mar 1932 – 25 June 2020): Brazilian director who won festival plaudits for her debut feature, Hour of the Star.

Bruce Baillie (24 Sept 1931 – 10 Apr 2020): leading director of San Francisco’s experimental film scene who also co-founded the distributor Canyon Cinema (All My Life; Castro Street; Quick Billy).

Benny Chan (7 Oct 1961 – 23 Aug 2020): director-producer of popular Hong Kong action films (A Moment of Romance; New Police Story).

Basu Chatterjee (10 Jan 1930 – 4 June 2020): writer-director who often focused on India’s middle-class (Rajnigandha; Baton Baton Mein).

José Luis Cuerda (18 Feb 1947 – 4 Feb 2020): Spanish filmmaker who was considered a master of absurdist comedy (The Enchanted Forest; Amanece, que no es poco).

Jörn Donner (5 Feb 1933 – 30 Jan 2020): director, producer, writer, actor, critic and archivist who revitalised the film industry in his native Finland (A Sunday in September; Black on White).

Peque Gallaga (25 Aug 1943 – 7 May 2020): director who was a leading voice of Philippine cinema, often in collaboration with Lore Reyes (Oro, Plata, Mata; Magic Temple).

Stuart Gordon (11 Aug 1947 – 24 Mar 2020): filmmaker known for his H.P. Lovecraft adaptations and his unique blend of gore, body horror and ghoulish humour (Re-Animator; From Beyond).

Marion Hänsel (12 Feb 1949 – 8 June 2020): followed an unlikely path from circus performer to actor to becoming one of Belgium’s pre-eminent filmmakers (Dust; Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea).

Jaime Humberto Hermosillo (22 Jan 1942 – 13 Jan 2020): helped lead the resurgence of Mexican cinema in the 1970s (The Passion According to Berenice; Doña Herlinda and Her Son).

Nelly Kaplan

Nelly Kaplan (11 Apr 1931 – 12 Nov 2020): Argentine-born French filmmaker, novelist, critic and close collaborator of Abel Gance (A Very Curious Girl; Néa).

Paul Leduc (11 Mar 1942 – 21 Oct 2020): Mexican filmmaker active in both fiction and documentaries (Reed: Insurgent Mexico; Ethnocide: Notes on El Mezquital; Frida Still Life).

Sarah Maldoror (19 July 1929 – 13 Apr 2020): French-Guadaloupean director who exerted an enormous influence on African cinema through her anti-colonial films (Monangambée; Sambizanga).

José Mojica Marins (13 Mar 1936 – 19 Feb 2020): actor and filmmaker who, with his character Coffin Joe, was the long-reigning king of Brazilian horror, beginning with At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul.

Jose Mojica Marins

Tonie Marshall (29 Nov 1951 – 12 Mar 2020): French actor turned filmmaker who is the only woman to have won a César for best director (Venus Beauty; Number One).

Lorenza Mazzetti (26 July 1928 – 4 Jan 2020): Italian filmmaker who played a vital role in the birth of Free Cinema (Together), and later was a prize-winning novelist, painter and owner of a puppet theatre.

Jirí Menzel (23 Feb 1938 – 5 Sept 2020) Czech filmmaker whose satiric voice didn’t always endear him to government censors (Closely Observed Trains; Larks on a String; My Sweet Little Village).

Nobuhiko Obayashi

Obayashi Nobuhiko (9 Jan 1938 – 10 Apr 2020) Japanese director who often utilised supernatural or fantastical elements (House; Labyrinth of Cinema).

Alan Parker (14 Feb 1944 – 31 July 2020): director whose remarkable versatility ranged from Midnight Express and Mississippi Burning to Fame and The Commitments.

Kambuzia Partovi (8 Feb 1956 – 24 Nov 2020): Iranian director (Café Transit) and screenwriter (The Circle) who also co-directed and starred in Panahi’s Closed Curtain.

Goran Paskaljevic (22 Apr 1947 – 25 Sept 2020): Serbian filmmaker whose career spanned the Tito era, the dissolution of Yugoslavia and into the 2010s (Special Treatment; Cabaret Balkan).

Ivan Passer (10 July 1933 – 9 Jan 2020): Czech New Wave filmmaker who then spent more than 30 years directing in the US (Intimate Lighting; Cutter’s Way).

Etienne Périer (11 Dec 1931 – 21 June 2020): Belgian writer-director who spent much of his career in France, with notable credits in the US and UK (Bridge to the Sun; When Eight Bells Toll).

Luther Price (26 Jan 1962 – 13 June 2020): experimental filmmaker whose found-footage work often involved physically altering celluloid itself (Sodom; Inkblot series).

Kevin Rafferty (25 May 1947 – 2 July 2020): a prominent figure in documentary circles as a director (The Atomic Cafe; Harvard Beats Yale 29-29) and cinematographer (Roger & Me).

Joel M. Reed (29 Dec 1933 – 14 Apr 2020): writer-director of violent grindhouse horror pictures that earned him a cult following (Blood Sucking Freaks; Night of the Zombies).

Carl Reiner (20 Mar 1922 – 29 June 2020): comedy pioneer, especially for TV, who left his mark on film as a director, writer and actor (The Jerk; All of Me; Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven).

Joel Schumacher (29 Aug 1939 – 22 June 2020): tackled the Brat Pack (St. Elmo’s Fire), vampires (The Lost Boys), John Grisham (The Client) and the Batman franchise.

Lynn Shelton (27 Aug 1965 – 15 May 2020): writer-director who was associated with mumblecore and was a leader of Seattle’s indie film community (Humpday; Your Sister’s Sister).

Giorgi Shengelaia (11 May 1937 – 17 Feb 2020): leading Georgian director of the Soviet and post-Soviet eras (Pirosmani; Journey of a Young Composer).

Fernando Solanas (16 Feb 1936 – 6 Nov 2020): Argentinian director and Third Cinema theorist who made the landmark anti-colonialist documentary The Hour of the Furnaces with Octavio Getino.

Aldo Tambellini (20 Apr 1930-12 Nov 2020): experimental filmmaker who was an innovator in the use of video as an art form (Black Zero; Black TV).

Joseph Vilsmaier (24 Jan 1939 – 11 Feb 2020): German director-cinematographer who was known for his historical dramas (Stalingrad; Comedian Harmonists).


Else Blangsted (22 May 1920 – 1 May 2020): refugee from Nazi Germany who became the doyenne of Hollywood music editors (Tootsie; The Color Purple; The Milagro Beanfield War).

Pembroke J. Herring (15 Apr 1930 – 19 May 2020): versatile editor who was equally at home with comedy and historical epics (Tora! Tora! Tora!; Out of Africa; Groundhog Day).

Sidney Levin (16 Apr 1934 – 24 May 2020): editor on nine pictures for Martin Ritt (Sounder; Norma Rae) who also co-edited Nashville.

Jonathan Oppenheim (10 Nov 1952 – 16 July 2020): editor who primarily worked on documentaries (Paris Is Burning; Laura Poitras’s The Oath).

Producers & Executives

Sue Bruce-Smith (27 Jan 1958 – 2 May 2020): Film4 executive widely admired as a backer of independent filmmakers, including Steve McQueen, Ben Wheatley, Andrea Arnold and Yorgos Lanthimos.

Cis Corman (12 May 1926 – 27 Apr 2020): casting director (Raging Bull) better known for her long association with Barbra Streisand, including as producer and president of her production companies.

Gene Corman (24 Sept 1927 – 28 Sept 2020): longtime producing partner with his brother Roger who later ventured out on his own with F.I.S.T. and The Big Red One.

Stuart Cornfeld (13 Nov 1952 – 26 June 2020): produced films for Mel Brooks, David Lynch, David Cronenberg and Steven Soderbergh before partnering with Ben Stiller on a string of hit comedies.

Edward S. Feldman (5 Sept 1929 – 2 Oct 2020): veteran producer (Witness; The Truman Show) who started his career as a publicist, notably on Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita.

Tony Garnett (3 Apr 1936 – 12 Jan 2020): TV and film producer of groundbreaking social dramas, most famously in his collaborations with Ken Loach (Cathy Come Home; Kes; Family Life).

Tony Garnett

Charles Gordon (13 May 1947 – 1 Nov 2020): producer who frequently teamed with his brother Lawrence (Die Hard; Field of Dreams).

Barbara Pec-Slesicka (24 Aug 1936 – 6 July 2020): Polish production manager, producer and studio executive known for her long association with Andrzej Wajda (Man of Marble; Danton).

Tom Pollock (10 Apr 1943 – 1 Aug 2020): served as chairman of Universal, backing The Last Temptation of Christ, Do the Right Thing and Schindler’s List and scoring blockbusters with Jurassic Park and Apollo 13.

Sumner Redstone (27 May 1923 – 11 Aug 2020): movie theatre mogul who ultimately expanded his empire to include Paramount Pictures, Viacom and CBS.

Ronald L. Schwary (23 May 1944 – 2 July 2020): producer known for Ordinary People, A Soldier’s Story and the six pictures he made with Sydney Pollack.

Matty Simmons (3 Oct 1926 – 29 Apr 2020): chairman of National Lampoon magazine, who also produced films for the brand (Animal House; the Vacation series).

Tiziana Soudani (c.1955 – 25 Jan 2020): Swiss producer whose Amka Films backed works by Silvio Soldini, Roger Gnoan M’Bala and Alice Rohrwacher.

Grazia Volpi (29 Mar 1941 – 7 Feb 2020): associate of the Taviani brothers for more than 40 years (Fiorile; Caesar Must Die).


Lewis John Carlino (1 Jan 1932 – 17 June 2020): screenwriter (Seconds; I Never Promised You a Rose Garden) who occasionally directed (The Great Santini).

Jean-Loup Dabadie (27 Sept 1938 – 24 May 2020): French lyricist, author and screenwriter (Such a Gorgeous Kid like Me; Vincent, François, and Paul and the Others).

Harriet Frank Jr (2 Mar 1923 – 28 Jan 2020): screenwriter whose long collaboration with husband Irving Ravetch included eight films for Martin Ritt (Hud; Norma Rae).

Bruce Jay Friedman (26 Apr 1930 – 3 June 2020): novelist, playwright and satirist who was in vogue in the 1960s and 70s and also wrote screenplays (Stir Crazy; Splash).

Ronald Harwood (9 Nov 1934 – 8 Sept 2020): adapted his play The Dresser to the cinema and wrote the scripts for The Pianist and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Buck Henry (9 Dec 1930 – 8 Jan 2020): writer, actor and occasional director who was a major force in American comedy (The Graduate; What’s Up, Doc?; To Die For).

Larry Kramer (25 June 1935 – 27 May 2020): Aids activist, novelist, playwright (The Normal Heart) and Oscar-nominated screenwriter-producer (Women in Love).

Kurt Luedtke (28 Sept 1939 – 9 Aug 2020): journalist who turned to screenwriting (Absence of Malice; Out of Africa).

Colo Tavernier O’Hagan (30 July 1942 – 12 June 2020): wrote several films for her ex-husband, Bertrand Tavernier (A Sunday in the Country; Beatrice) and Chabrol’s Story of Women.

Charles Wood (6 Aug 1932 – 1 Feb 2020): wrote five films for Richard Lester (The Knack… and How to Get It; How I Won the War) and scripted The Charge of the Light Brigade.

Set & Costume Designers

Bhanu Athaiya (28 Apr 1929 – 15 Oct 2020): costume designer (Pyaasa; Lagaan) who became India’s first Oscar winner, for Gandhi.

Ron Cobb (21 Sept 1937 – 21 Sept 2020): conceptual artist and designer who made critical contributions to Alien, Back to the Future and Total Recall.

Denise Cronenberg (1 Oct 1938 – 22 May 2020): designed the costumes for her brother David’s films, from The Fly through Maps to the Stars.

Leslie A. Pope (2 June 1954 – 6 May 2020): set decorator who contributed to the look of Seabiscuit, Django Unchained and several entries in the Marvel universe.

Alan Tomkins (19 Jan 1939 – 20 Sept 2020): draughtsman turned art director who worked on The Empire Strikes Back, Kundun, several Bond pictures and Nolan’s Batman Begins.


Paul Crifo (11 Jan 1922-22 Sept 2020): prolific poster artist who was long one of the leading practitioners in his field (In the Heat of the Night; Monty Python and the Holy Grail). [Isabel Stevens pays tribute in our Winter 2020-21 issue.]

James Harvey (10 Aug 1929-15 May 2020): critic, essayist and author of such acclaimed books as Romantic Comedy in Hollywood, Movie Love in the Fifties and Watching Them Be.

Derek Hill (4 Oct 1930-28 Sept 2020): critic, distributor and programmer who had a great impact in shaping film culture in Britain as founder of the specialist distribution company the Short Film Service and the New Cinema Club in 1967, and later as the first film buyer and programmer for Channel 4. [Kevin Brownlow pays tribute in our Winter 2020-21 issue.]

Derek Hill

Andrew Jack (28 Jan 1944-31 Mar 2020): leading dialect coach who guided the accents for The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Troy and also acted in the recent Star Wars movies.

Saroj Khan (22 Nov 1948-3 July 2020): actor and dancer who became Bollywood’s first female choreographer and a major figure in the industry (Mr. India; Tezaab; Devdas).

Charles Lippincott (28 Oct 1939-19 May 2020): publicist who revolutionized movie marketing with his promotion of the original Star Wars, creating many of the practices that are now industry standard.

Ernie F. Orsatti (13 Feb 1940-12 Sept 2020): stuntman and stunt coordinator whose backwards drop through a glass skylight in The Poseidon Adventure remains one of the greatest stunt falls of all time.

Arthur Wooster (18 May 1929-1 Sept 2020): second unit director and camera operator who directed action sequences for eight Bond pictures, from For Your Eyes Only to Die Another Day.

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