We are almost a month and a half into 2014. Turning back, we see 2013 slowly receding back. Before it disappears into the oblivion, let us remember some stars who left us in 2013 leaving the world bereft of their light and charm. “Death is the last scene of the last act”, said Joyce Carol Oates. Below is the list of 10 actors who finished their act in this brazen world and vanished into the far more beautiful valley of death.
10. Joanne Fontaine
Next on our list is a movie icon whose memories would last forever. Born in Tokyo, Joanne’s family later moved to California. This British- American actress was a popular figure in the movie world in the years 1935-1966. Her most famous movies were Suspicion (in which her character Lina won her Academy Award and New York Critics Award), Rebecca, The Constant Nymph, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, You Gotta Stay Happy and Tender is the Night. She also appeared in TV productions and was also a theatre personality who co produced the theatrical film The Witches in 1966.
9. James Avery
“I’m deeply saddened to say that James Avery has passed away. He was a second father to me. I will miss him greatly”, tweeted Alfonso Ribeiro, who played the role of Avery’s son in the groundbreaking sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel Air, on January 1 2014. Avery appeared as Judge Philip Banks in 141 episodes of the series. He also played smaller roles in Grey’s anatomy and Harry’s Law. He has given voice to many animated characters too, as in Lion King: the animated series. A multifaceted genius, he was; one who wrote poems and scripts before his fame grew as an actor. He died at 68 reportedly from complications developed after an open heart surgery in California.
8. Farooq Sheikh
It was nothing less than a shock for the Bollywood industry and movie lovers when the news of Farooq Sheik’s death came from Dubai on 28 December 2013. Entering the industry as an actor in 1970s when the new wave brought unprecedented changes in the way movies were made and viewed, Farooq made his debut in the 1973 movie Garm Hawa. He appeared in memorable roles in the movies Shatranj ke Khilaadi, Chasme Buddoor and Kissi se na Kehna. He was also recently seen in the blockbuster movie Ye Jawaani he Deewani as Ranbir Kapoor’s father. From 2008 he also started hosting T.V shows which became hugely popular. Newspapers often referred to him as the “aam aadmi of Indian cinema”, thanks to his down to earth lifestyle and humble demeanor.
7. Eleanor Parker
“The least heralded great actress”, Eleanor Parker bid adieu to the world which hardly recognized her bounteous talent as an actor. Best known for her performance as the baroness in Sound of Music, she also played notable roles in the movies The Voice of the Turtle, Lizzie, Of Human Bondage, Between Two Worlds, Pride of the Marines and The Woman in White. It was her stunning performance in the 1950 movie Caged that made it to Oscar nomination list. Altogether she was nominated for Oscars three times. She also appeared in many TV shows like Bracken’s World for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe in 1970. The American actress often called “The Woman with a Thousand Faces” died at 91 last December 2013 at California, USA.
6. Richard Griffiths
Who can possibly forget Vernon Dursley, Harry Potter’s grouchy uncle who hated magic more than anything else? Nor can we forget Richard Griffith, the veteran actor who played the role of Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series. We lost this talented British actor in March 2013 after he suffered from heart attack on March 29. He will be best remembered for his role of Uncle Monty in With nail and I. He also managed to garner reputation as a theater artist, especially as Shakespearean clown. He also acted in movies like Hugo, About Time, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Sleepy Hollow and Gandhi though his fame rests mostly on the Harry Potter series. He has also acted in many TV series. His wit, kindness and mischief, say his co-actors, made him one of a kind and hence he will be sorely missed.
5. Peter O’ Toole
This actor with prodigious talent and immaculate acting prowess also passed away in 2013. His death was an unprecedented loss for the world of cinema. Recipient of the Special Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2013, Irish-born Peter O’ Toole was equally known for his roles in theater as well as the screen. “I will not be a common man because it is my right to be an uncommon man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony”, he once remarked. Such was the spirit that underlined his life and performances. Lawrence of Arabia (1962), the movie that garnered huge attention was his career changing movie. He also acted in the 1980s movies The Stunt Man and My Favorite Year. Peter O’Toole and his life-like characters will continue to capture the imagination of movie-buffs for centuries, take my word for it.
4. James Gandolfini
2013 also witnessed the death of the famous American actor James Gandolfini after he suffered a heart attack while in Rome. He had enormous talent and passion for acting and the roles he did reflect the exuberance with which he donned them. Best known as the Sopranos star, he made the character of Tony Soparno one of the memorable ones in the history of BBC. This role also won him many awards. He also appeared in many movies in supporting roles which always made him a household name. Virgil in True Romance, Carol in Where the Wild Things are and Lt. Bobby Dougherty in Crimson Tide are some of his memorable roles. He has also produced many documentaries.
3. Cory Monteith
An exceptional performer. A young actor who refused to conform to the ways of the world. The talent that the world lost before we have had enough of it. Cory Monteith, the famous Canadian actor was found dead in a hotel room last July. Tests revealed that he was addicted to marijuana and drinking and his death was due to overdose of heroine and alcohol mix. Known for his role of Finn Hudson in Glee, Monteith also acted in many movies and TV series. 31 year old actor had also won many awards and recognition. His girlfriend Lea Michele recently dedicated a song for his late boyfriend in her latest album which goes “You’re Mine”.
2. Paul Walker
Fast and furious, he was. He loved it that way, be it the way he conquered our hearts or the way he left the world leaving a huge gap which will never be filled. The 40 year old actor died in a car crash last November. He appeared in a Pampers commercial advertisement when he was a child. Then came a number of TV series and movies before he joined the Fast and Furious franchise which proved to be a huge turning point in his life. He won laurels as a talented and passionate young actor and grabbed eyeballs as he bagged awards after awards including Young Hollywood Award and MTV movie award. As cop Brian O’ Connor, Walker had brought out his best performance in Fast and Furious. News is rife that the franchise has decided not to “kill” his character in the latest movie and instead he will “retire”. Paul Walker, you will be missed.
Pran, in Hindi, translates to life. True to his name he was the life and breathe of Bollywood. In his more than 50 years of career in movies he translated emotions and brought characters of different colours into life. He was undoubtedly the most loved villain of his times. Paradoxical it might sound, but it is the undeniable truth. His memorable characters include Mangal Chacha in Upkar, Sher Khan in Zanjeer, Raaka in Jis desh mein Ganga behti hein and Kishen Lal in Amar Akbar Antony. In May 2013, Pran was conferred the covetous Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his valuable contribution to the field of Indian cinema. Pran is someone precious whose absence is going to haunt us for quite a period.