Some recent deaths of note – 6/2/09

6 February, 2009

As reported in the February issue of Ansible:

Kim Manners (1951-2009), US tv producer/director of many episodes of The X-Files and Supernatural, died on 25 January; he was 58. He also worked on Automan and ST:TNG.

His episodes for Supernatural were certainly of the highest quality. A damn shame he won’t be making any more. Interesting to find him associated with Automan, of which I have vague but fond memories. (Shame about the ST:TNG connection!)

Ricardo Montalban (1920-2009), Mexican-born actor best known to sf fans as Khan in Star Trek and the film The Wrath of Khan (1982), died on 14 January aged 88. Another famous part was Mr Roarke in tv’s Fantasy Island (1978-1984).

Apart from his striking good looks and great personal charm, he must be noted for his employment of these qualities to great service in his many roles, sf and otherwise. (As an aside, I can’t help but pre-emptively grieve that, someday, we must mourn the passing of the much underrated and underused Bill Shatner.)

Angela Morley (1924-2009), UK-born transsexual composer whose genre work included E.T. and the first two Star Wars films, and who as Wally Stott was musical director and band conductor of The Goon Show, died on 14 January; she was 84.

I certainly hope no-one is claiming that Morley wrote the music for Star Wars! Interesting to add another name to the curious list of men who, later in life, decided to become women. Other notables include travel writer James, later Jan, Morris, and composer Walter, later Wendy, Carlos. (I’ll just add here as an aside that I find the whole sex change business extremely silly.)

John Mortimer (1923-2009), UK author, playwright, barrister and much-loved public figure perhaps best known for creating Rumpole of the Bailey, died on 16 January aged 85. Genre link: his script work on The Innocents (1961), a film adaptation of The Turn of the Screw.

I hope Mortimer wasn’t responsible for the only episode I’ve ever seen of Rumpole, in which a person was tried for some murky business involving a Post Office box, and only in a “twist” at the last minute was it revealed that the PO box belonged to somebody else. Well, even if he was responsible, his involvement with that creepy film The Innocents goes some way to rubbing out his guilt.

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One Response to “Some recent deaths of note – 6/2/09”

  1. coffee Says:

    Ricardo Montalban epitomized the suave host image; i just recently found out he starred in the Wrath of Khan too, crazy


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