With each passing year, it is hard for classic film fans, old and young alike, to witness the passing of their favorite actors, actresses and directors who made it their life’s work to entertain people. 2008 was without a doubt, one tough year to see Charleton Heston, Paul Newman, Cyd Charisse, Suzanne Plushette and many other legends both on screen and behind-the-scenes take their final curtain call. Stan Winston and Ollie Johnston are two who will be surely missed. Fortunately, we have their work to watch, re-watch and introduce to future generations of classic film fans.
Stan Winston created the killer cyborgs we know as “Terminators” in the quadruple film series and continued the terror of the extraterrestrial that lays their eggs in the victim’s chest and cocoons them in “Aliens” (1986). Winston’s talents were not only limited to sci-fi, when he produced the
scissorhands effects for “Edward Scissorhands” (1990) and broke the audience’s hearts for Edward’s unfortunate defect. Winston was a true artist before and during a time when the industry has increased its reliability of CGI. Winston’s work is a testament to the boundaries that can terrify, exhilarate and mystify audiences today without abusing CGI. Winston’s recent work can be seen in
“Iron Man” (2008) and in “Terminator: Salvation” (2009).
Ollie Johnston was the last of the legendary “Nine Men” who worked closely with Walt Disney to bring his animated films to life. Johnston’s first film for the Disney Corporation was an animated Western short titled, “Two-Gun Mickey” (1934). In 1937, he was one of the assistant animators for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937). His extensive filmography spanning fifty-five years in
animation includes, “Pinocchio” (1940), “Fantasia” (1940), “Bambi” (1942), “Cinderella”(1950), “Alice In Wonderland”(1951) and many more. Johnston also provided his voice for the “Train Engineer #1” in “The Iron Giant” (1999) and for various characters in “The Incredibles” (2004).
A fond farewell to the following:
Charleton Heston, Sydney Pollack, Paul Newman, Cyd Charisse, Van Johnson, Suzanne Plushette, Beverely Garland, Lois Nettleton, Jules Dassin,Abby Mann, Richard Widmark, Ben Chapman, Leonard Rosenmann, Fred Cane, Evelyn Keyes, Eartha Kitt, Robert Mulligan, Joy Page, Anita Page, June Travis, Kay Linaker, Julie Ege, Earle Hagen, Mel Ferrer, Robert J. Anderson, John Michael Hayes, Nina Foch, Dody Goodman, Don LaFontaine, Hazel Court, Harvey Korman, Roy Schieder, Maila Nurmi (Vampira).