In Memoriam

In Memoriam

It’s the start of a New Year and Susan Omand takes the opportunity to reflect on some of those we lost in 2015...

This is always a bittersweet article to write. There are always big names in film, books and TV whose deaths hit the headlines throughout the year, generating outpourings of grief and remembrance from the public. These are remembered here but I also like to highlight the lesser known deaths whose work during their lifetime made no less of an impact even though their names go often unremembered. This is by no means an exhaustive list though, there are sadly always too many, it’s just the ones I found interesting or memorable in some way.

In Memoriam...


Fiona Cumming, 77, British television director (Doctor Who).

Roger Kitter, 64, British actor (Captain Bertorelli in 'Allo 'Allo!)

Lance Percival, 81, British actor (TW3, Up Pompeii)

Robert Stone, 77, American novelist (Dog Soldiers)

Anita Ekberg, 83, Swedish-Italian actress (La Dolce Vita, Paris Holiday, Back from Eternity)

Frank Mazzola, 79, American film actor and editor (Rebel Without a Cause, Casablanca, The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Pauline Yates, 85, English actress (The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin)

Colleen McCullough, 77, Australian author (The Thorn Birds)

Geraldine McEwan, 82, British actress (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Agatha Christie's Marple)


Stewart Stern, 92, American screenwriter (Rebel Without a Cause)

Alan Howard, 77, English actor (The voice of the ring in The Lord of the Rings)

Louis Jourdan, 93, French actor (Kamal Khan in Octopussy)

Brett Ewins, 59, British comic book artist (Judge Dredd, 2000 AD)

Talus Taylor, 82, American writer, co-creator of the Barbapapa series

Maurice Hurley, 75, American television writer and producer (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Baywatch, Miami Vice)

Leonard Nimoy, 83, American actor and director (Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Fringe)

Joanne Woollard, British film art director (Gravity)


Sam Simon, 59, co-creator of the Simpsons

Allan Lurie, 91, American voice actor (Kenneth Baker in Metal Gear Solid).

Sir Terry Pratchett, 66, British author

Shaw Taylor, 90, British actor and TV presenter

Roger Slifer, 60, American comic book author (Lobo) and writer (Transformers)

Robert Z'Dar, 64, American film actor and producer (Maniac Cop, Tango & Cash)

Derek Smith, 87, the person responsible for creating Top Gear

Roscoe p coltrane


Robert Rietti, 92, voice actor (a lot of the James Bond films, Orson Welles’ voice in Treasure Island among many others)

Richard Dysart, 86, American character actor (Leland McKenzie in L.A. Law and Dr Copper in The Thing)

James Best, 88, American actor (Roscoe P Coltrane in The Dukes of Hazzard)

Herb Trimpe, 75, American comic book artist (The Incredible Hulk, Thor), co-creator of Wolverine

Hiroyuki Nishimoto, 88, Japanese voice actor (Snuffkin in The Moomins)

Nigel Terry, 69, British actor (The Lion in Winter, Excalibur, Troy, Doctor Who)


Grace Lee Whitney, 85, American actress (Yeoman Rand in Star Trek)

Michael Blake, 69, American author and screenwriter (Dances with Wolves)

Ryan McHenry, 27, Scottish film director (responsible for the internet sensation of Ryan Gosling won’t eat his cereal)

Ruth Rendell, 85, English crime novelist (Inspector Wexford)

Christopher Wood, 79, English novelist and screenwriter (adapted the novels for Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me)

Gill Dennis, 74, American screenwriter (Walk the Line, Return to Oz)

Mary Ellen Trainor, 62, American actress (Mum in The Goonies)

Tanith Lee, 67, British science fiction, horror and fantasy writer

Betsy Palmer, 88, American actress (Jason’s mum in Friday the 13th)


Katherine Chappell, 29, American visual effects editor (Game of Thrones, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Godzilla), died by lion attack

Sir Christopher Lee, 93, British actor, voice artist and singer (Dracula, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars)

Robert Chartoff, 81, American film producer (Rocky, Raging Bull, Ender's Game

Ron Moody, 91, British actor (Fagin in Oliver!)

Earl Norem, 91, American comic book artist (Silver Surfer, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe)

Patrick Macnee, 93, English-American actor (Steed in The Avengers (the real one not the superhero one))

Leonard Starr, 89, American cartoonist (ThunderCats)

Omar Sharif


Jerry Weintraub, 77, American film producer (Ocean's Eleven, Diner, The Karate Kid), chairman and CEO of United Artists

Roger Rees, 71, (Cheers, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The West Wing)

Omar Sharif, 83, Egyptian actor (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Funny Girl)

Satoru Iwata, 55, Japanese game programmer (Super Smash Bros., Pokémon), president and CEO of Nintendo (since 2002)

Alan Kupperberg, 62, American comic book artist (The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man

Brock Winkless, 56, American puppeteer and visual effects technician (Child's Play – he was Chucky, Tales from the Crypt, Terminator 2: Judgment Day)

E. L. Doctorow, 84, American author (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate, The March)


Giovanni Riggi, 90, American mobster, inspiration for The Sopranos.

George Cole, 90, English actor (Minder, St Trinian's, Cleopatra)

Uggie, 13, The Dog out of the Oscar winning film The Artist

Susan Sheridan, 68, English actress and voice artist (Trillian in the Radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

David Nobbs, 80, British novelist and comedy writer (The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, The Two Ronnies, Fairly Secret Army)

Stephen Lewis, 88, British comedy actor (Blakey in On the Buses )

Yvonne Craig, 78, American actress (Batgirl in the 1960’s Batman series)

Wes Craven, 76, American film director, writer and producer (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, The Hills Have Eyes)

Oliver Sacks, 82, British neurologist and author (wrote the book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat)


Jackie Collins, 77, American author (and sister of Joan)

Dean Jones, 84, American actor (The Love Bug, Company, Beethoven)

Nancy Bernstein, 55, American visual effects and film producer (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men)

Jack Larson, 87, American playwright and actor (Adventures of Superman)

Derek Ware, 77, British stuntman and actor (Doctor Who, The Italian Job)

John Guillermin, 89, British film director and producer (The Towering Inferno, King Kong, Shaft in Africa)

Catherine E. Coulson, 71, American actress and production assistant (The Log Lady in Twin Peaks, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Eraserhead)

Caio César, 27, Brazilian voice actor (the Portuguese voice of Harry Potter) 

Al Molinaro


Henning Mankell, 67, Swedish author (Kurt Wallander books)

Hugh Scully, 72, British television presenter (Antiques Roadshow).

Gordon Honeycombe, 79, British newscaster

Bob Minkler, 78, American sound mixer (won the Oscar for best sound on Star Wars)

Dick Sharples, 88, British scriptwriter (Z Cars, Doctor Finlay’s Casebook, In Loving Memory)

Maureen O'Hara, 95, Irish-American actress (How Green Was My Valley, Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man)

Al Molinaro, 96, American actor (ran Al’s Diner in Happy Days)


Colin Welland, 81, British actor and screenwriter (Kes, Straw Dogs, Chariots of Fire), Oscar winner (1982)

Melissa Mathison, 65, American screenwriter (wrote the script for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial)

Gunnar Hansen, 68, Icelandic-born American actor (Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre)

Warren Mitchell, 89, British actor (Till Death Us Do Part, Death of a Salesman, The Price)

Saeed Jaffrey, 86, Indian-born British actor (The Man Who Would Be King, Shatranj Ke Khilari, My Beautiful Laundrette)

Keith Michell, 88, Australian actor (The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Henry VIII and His Six Wives, Murder, She Wrote) and sang of Captain Beaky and his Band.

Hazel Adair, 95, British television writer (created Crossroads)


Brooke McCarter, 52, American model and actor (Paul in The Lost Boys)

Don Leaver, 86, British television director and producer (The Avengers, Prime Suspect)

Martin E. Brooks, 90, American actor (Dr Rudy Wells in The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman)

Nicholas Smith, 81, British actor (Are You Being Served?, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Doctor Who)

Howard West, 84, American TV producer (Seinfeld)

William McIlvanney, 79, Scottish crime novelist, the Laidlaw books.

Robert Loggia, 85, actor (danced with Tom Hanks on the giant floor keyboard in "Big).

Images - IMDb
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