Friday, February 5, 2016

A couple of lesser obituaries

I think I've stated quite a few times that I visit Wikipedia's deaths page every time I log on to my desktop computer. Being a movie blogger, I need to see when classic cinema-related people die so that I can blog about it. A couple of deaths of people with greater or lesser ties to the movies have been announced:

I don't remember Kristine Miller, although she appeared in about 20 movies in the late 1940s and early 1950s, with the most notable of the films being From Here to Eternity. Apparently she was also in Too Late For Tears, which I have on my DVR. She died late last year at the age of 90, but her family didn't announce the death until a few days ago, presumably in order to maintain their privacy.

Maurice White died yesterday aged 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. White is of course best known as a singer and songwriter, having founded the band Earth, Wind, and Fire and fronting it until his illness hit. The band appeared in the movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hears Club Band, doing a wonderfully funky cover of the Beatles' song "Got to Get You Into My Life". This is the sort of movie that really needs to show up on TCM Underground at some point.

Finally, there's Joe Alaskey, who died on Wednesday at the age of 63. If you don't recognize the name -- and I know I didn't -- that's because he was a voice actor, taking on the Looney Tunes roles that Mel Blanc had done up until his death in 1989. Spare a thought for the voice actor. It seems that nowadays whenever I see the latest animated movie being advertised, they're also advertising the famous names who are lending their voices to the movie. The people who do multiple voices and did the voices in the old animated movies don't seem to get as much credit. Look at the cast list of any of the Disney movies from when Walt was still alive, and ask yourself how many of the names people recognize. (Yes, I know Sterling Holloway did the voice of Winnie the Pooh.)

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