Friday, September 13, 2013

Two more movie related obituaries

I regularly visit Wikipedia's death announcement page to see if anybody has died who it would be worth mentioning here for their contributions to the cinema. Two more names showed up in the past day or so; one not so well known, the other a man who made contributions to more than movies.

I don't recall the name Louise Currie at all; she died at the beginning of the week at the age of 100. Wikipedia lists her as the last surviving adult cast member of Citizen Kane, although IMDb only lists her as a "Reporter at Xanadu", which I'd assume is in the closing scenes. (Alan Ladd supposedly played a reporter in the Xanadu scene as well.) In fact, a lot of Currie's work is listed at IMDb as "uncredited", with the titles being movies I don't particularly remember

And then there's Ray Dolby, who died yesterday at the age of 80. He deafened us with science -- or, at least, technology. Ray was the Dolby behind the "Dolby Sound" that you often see in the fine print of the posters or credits for movies, going back to at least the 1977 blockbusters Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's a long cry from the Westrex (actually part of Western Electric, an adjunct to AT&T) "high-fidelity"(!), "low-noise"(!) technology that dominated the early talkies that weren't using the Vitaphone sound-on-disc technology.

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