The week began with the losses of Charles Durning and Jack Klugman, and as it ends, we sadly make note of three more passings.
“Gerry Anderson the creator of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons, Stingray and Joe 90 has died at the age of 83,” reports Paul Gallagher at Dangerous Minds. “Anderson was a major influence on generations of youngsters growing-up in Britain during the late 1950s to mid-1970s. His programs shaped play activities, games, toys and inspired imaginations. Anderson was as influential as Walt Disney, if not more so to young Brits.” More from the BBC and its readers, Nigel Fountain (Guardian) and William Yardley (New York Times). And our own Jonathan Marlow interviewed Anderson back in 2004.
Update, 1/5: “The detailed set designs for Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet were innovative and incredibly detailed,” recalls Kimberly Lindbergs at Movie Morlocks, “and the action-packed storylines were often surprisingly adult in nature. Like a lot of other kids and adults I became mesmerized by these Supermarionation shows. They sent my 10-year-old mind reeling and seemed to unlock some deep recesses of my imagination. In retrospect, watching these pioneering puppet shows was a lot like seeing your toy box come to life. Suddenly stagnant rocket ships were able to launch themselves into space and the dolls and action figures that I loved playing with were now able to move and talk on their own without any help from me.”
“Keiji Nakazawa, a Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor whose iconic comic strip about the incident was read by millions of school children in post-war Japan, has died,” reports the AFP. “The author’s Barefoot Gen manga series, which carried strong anti-war themes and often gruesome drawings, was serialized in magazines from 1973 to 1985 and was also turned into books that sold more than 10 million copies.” And, according to Wikipedia, it was also “adapted into three live action film adaptations directed by Tengo Yamada, which were released between 1976 and 1980. Madhouse released two anime films, one in 1983 and one in 1986. In 2007, a live action television drama series adaptation aired in Japan on Fuji TV over two nights, August 10 and 11.” Keiji Nakazawa was 73.
British composer, pianist and arranger Richard Rodney Bennett has died, aged 76, reports the AP. “He was nominated for Oscars for the scores for Far from the Madding Crowd in 1967, Nicholas and Alexandra in 1971 and Murder on the Orient Express in 1974. A student of Pierre Boulez in 1957-58, Bennett’s work evolved from the avant-garde to a more tonal style.” The BBC has collected tributes from composers and musicians.