Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Featuring an Actor/Actress that Passed Away in 2016

This is a bitter sweet theme for this Thursday and part of me was really hesitant about choosing movies for this one. Mostly because there are so many, since 2016 was a devastating year for the movie world from start to finish. And yes, loss is bitter, but the legacy that was left behind is a sweet reminder that they will never be forgotten.

1. ALAN RICKMAN IN DOGMA, 1999

There were so many movies from Alan Rickman’s career I could have listed here but I decided to go with something out of the ordinary. Dogma is a weird movie with a weird plot and yet, Rickman still manages to stand out. But keep in mind, any Alan Rickman performance would fit this theme, from his portrayal of Snape to his Hans Gruber in Die Hard.

2. ANTON YELCHIN IN ALPHA DOG, 2006

If I think about the passing of Anton Yelchin, my heart hurts the most because I can’t stop wondering how far he could have gone if he had more time. But his life was cut short and his impressive 69 credits on his IMDb page will remain his gift to us. Alpha Dog being one of those previous gifts everyone should at least experience once.

3. ABE VIGODA IN LOOK WHO’S TALKING, 1989

Long and hard I wondered who I was going to mention last, and I figured, I’ll share a loss that was not as tragic – Abe Vigoda who died at the age of 94 having also 94 credits during his acting career. He worked until 2014, and though his latest credits might not have been so well known, or his name not mentioned as often after his passing as others, I still wanted to pay a small tribute to this man who made me laugh in Look Who’s Talking.


THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES

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17 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Featuring an Actor/Actress that Passed Away in 2016

  1. joelnox

    LOVE that you picked Abe Vigoda!! I don’t remember him too well from Look Who’s Talking but that was the only movie from that series that I liked, the sequels got worse and worse. Naturally like everyone else I remember Abe best as Fish on Barney Miller where he was inimitable.

    Yelchin and Rickman are the popular people today as far as being picked, I chose Rickman as well, but as often as they’ve been chosen this is the first time I’ve seen a match as to the film picked with Dogma. I watched it the once, which was enough for me but do recall him being a standout. With all the different films of his chosen it’s been intriguing to see which performances have remained with each person…funny no Die Hard yet but I guess everyone just assumed that he was so singular in it that no one needed reminding of his brilliance in it.

    Wilth Yelchin I haven’t seen this title, I’m mostly unfamiliar with his output except in the Star Treks where he was just right as Chekov. His death I would agree was the most tragic because it left so much unfulfilled but Debbie Reynolds’ passing was the toughest for me because even though she had lived a full life I had grown up with her in a way. When I was a kid she was still a relatively young woman (somewhere in the 40 range-just shy of that mark or slightly past), spry and joyous as she remained, and her early films were all over TV on a regular basis. I had always expected that she’d drop on a stage somewhere since she had remained so present. So that double whammy was a hard hit.

    Oh dear I have gone on, I’ll have to split my entry. :-)

    • mettelray

      I had a feeling the picks would be rather similar so I wondered who passed away unnoticed. And I remember hearing about his passing and immediately remembering his eyebrows and his performance in Look Who’s Talking for some odd reason. So I thought, I’ll share him.

      Well, I guess we all have our connections with somebody that break us differently. I felt like Anton, since he was my age, was somehow closer to me than the others. I felt like it was unfair that he passed and so on so on.

      I’ll answer your next comment here as well:

      You know, I’ve never seen Sense and Sensibility! Like, I loved Pride and Prejudice with Knightley but I haven’t seen Sense and Sensibility. It’s a shame really. It will take me a while to watch it, since it tends to be more than a year when I can finally look at an actor on screen who passed away recently. Except Star Trek Beyond.. I was brave enough for that one and it broke me.

  2. joelnox

    2016 took so many I had a hard time narrowing. I was mightily inclined to pick some of the more obscure performers such as Joan Carroll who most notably played the second youngest sister, Agnes Smith, in Judy Garland’s Meet Me in St. Louis or all supporting players like Doris Roberts or all musician, Bowie and Prince but my list ended up being huge and I decided to just pick my four favorites and call it a day. So I remember all of these heartily!

    This Happy Feeling (1958)-Debbie Reynolds-When her boss makes a pass at a party in the Connecticut countryside New Yorker Janet Blake (Debbie) dashes into the rain just as Bill Tremaine (John Saxon) is passing and offers a ride to the subway. When she misconstrues a comment Bill makes as a come-on she jumps out and makes her way to the nearest house which belongs to retired star Preston “Mitch” Mitchell (Curt Jurgens) which he shares with his live-in housekeeper, the tippling Mrs. Early (a hysterical scene stealing Estelle Winwood). Stuck and soaked to the skin she stays the night in his guest room but when Mitch’s lady friend, the droll Nita Hollaway (a standout Alexis Smith) stops by in the morning she assumes the worst. Mitch sets her straight and hires Janet as his secretary beginning a charming romantic comedy with Debbie falling for Curt while John falls for her and she being pulled one way and another while Alexis makes caustic remarks from the sidelines. Little known Blake Edwards comedy is a hidden gem and a first-rate showcase for Debbie’s special magic.

    Sense and Sensibility (1995)-Alan Rickman- When the Dashwood sisters Elinor and Marianne (Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet) and their mother are forced to move out of their home by their brother’s rotten wife they move to a cottage on their cousin’s estate in the English countryside. There Marianne becomes enamored of the dashing Willoughby (Greg Wise) while the more sedate Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman) pines for her. Meanwhile Elinor yearns for the unavailable Edwards Ferrars (Hugh Grant). There’s so much more in this top flight Jane Austen adaptation directed by Ang Lee but this is a great example of Alan Rickman’s versatility. Best known as the suave but ruthlessly evil Hans Gruber in Die Hard he is the complete opposite here and makes both characters fully formed people.

    Me, Natalie (1969)-Patty Duke-Natalie Miller (Patty) is an average looking Brooklyn teen who has a developed a complex from her mother always telling her she’ll be beautiful someday so don’t worry about being plain now. Her traditional father’s no help, he’s bribed a nerdy family friend (Bob Balaban) to marry her so she can be the housewife he thinks is all she should or can be. Encouraged by her jovial Uncle Harold (Martin Balsam) she breaks free. Renting an apartment from the dotty Miss Dennison (Elsa Lanchester) in Greenwich Village she embarks on a sometimes rocky journey of discovery where she finds that being comfortable with herself is more important than how she looks. Somewhat heavy with late 60’s trappings but aside from The Miracle Worker this is Patty Duke’s best big screen performance. Al Pacino makes his screen debut in a short scene at a dance.

    Silver Streak (1976)-Gene Wilder-While traveling to his sister’s wedding on the Silver Streak train easy-going George Caldwell (Gene) falls smack dab into murder and intrigue when he becomes smitten with Hilly Burns (Jill Clayburgh) the secretary of seemingly innocuous Professor Schreiner. When he thinks he sees a dead body thrown from the train it’s the start of a wild ride both on and off the train during which he partners up with escapee Grover Muldoon (Richard Pryor) who gets him in and out of one crazy situation after another. Mix of comedy, slapstick, thriller and adventure was the first and best pairing of Wilder and Pryor.

  3. soniacerca

    I didn’t even know Abe Vigoda passed away! At least he lived his life. I haven’t seen any of these (I’ve been meaning to watch Alpha Dog for a while though), but I also went with Alan Rickman and Anton Yelchin.

    • mettelray

      Indeed! Compared to my other picks, I felt like I had to have somebody who had a very long life! Alpha Dog is a must, it actually has a pretty decent performance by Timberlake as well! Many went with them, and it’s understandable. I thought a lot would go with Bowie or Prince performances, which I can’t say I have seen myself. And I knew Reynolds and Fisher were going to be mentioned a lot. Yet, Yelchin’s was the most difficult to accept.

  4. Maria Casacalenda (Big City Bookworm)

    man, just reading Anton Yelchin’s name on this list made me really emotional. Of course, the other actors you mentioned hurt as well. I don’t know what it is about Anton Yelchin that hurts so much, but it really hits hard :(

    • mettelray

      Same. This whole post made me emotional! I think it’s the age, Ledger was relatively young as well, and with both men, I felt like they would go so far in their careers. I mean Anton, he had so many credits under his name, and he was only 27…. :(

    • mettelray

      I think many recognise his face, I mean, it’s so unique, especially from Look Who’s Talking, that it’s hard not to remember him. And give this post a different kind of ending. :)

  5. Birgit

    Alan Rickman is the popular star for this theme and I love Dogma which I think is a brilliant movie. Anton Yelchin is just so sad especially in the way he passed. He just got the letter about the vehicle recall as well. I only know him as Chekhov. I am loving that you picked Abe Vigoda who has a face that always looked old. He was in The Godfather and everyone knows him from Barney Miller and his own spinoff series, Fish.

    • mettelray

      I did not know that he just got that letter!? Don’t tell me that was the letter he was fetching when the car started to roll down the driveway!??? I can’t even.. that would be..
      Yelchin has had wonderful performances, it was hard to pick the one, I loved him in Like Crazy and 5 to 7 was as well. Just. He was in so many great ones!

      I can’t remember his face from The Godfather, which is so weird, but I do recall his face in Look Who’s Talking. It’s interesting to hear that he always looked old, well, I guess he was old for many many years during his 96 year life.

  6. Brittani

    I knew you’d choose Anton, I love that you went with Alpha Dog. He was so good in that movie. I also love Rickman in Dogma. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Look Who’s Talking movies, but I think I liked them when I was younger.

    • mettelray

      A predictability I do not mind because I will always mention him if I can. And I had such a difficult time to pick between his movies, same with Rickman, so I kind of went with movies that I thought brought out a different side of them. I think Look Who’s Talking is a hidden gem, because a baby voiced by Bruce Willis is one funny experience!

    • mettelray

      True! I don’t think I’ve even wanted to watch Smith’s movies lately. Though, I must admit, Jersey Girl is one of my guilty pleasures..and now that I realised he wrote it, I’m a little bit shocked.

    • mettelray

      Good luck finding it because it’s a worth it! Especially since I think that was the role that gave Yelchin a lot of the opportunities he was able to take on afterwards.

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