- HOLLYWOOD — In a few weeks, 2015 will be just another object placed in our long-term memory deposit box.Like most people, we movie lovers recognize this transition as a bittersweet inevitability. Sure, we’re looking forward to the next film festival or summer blockbuster, but we also realize we’ve seen or heard from some of our favorite Hollywood icons for the last time. We’ve experienced their final performances, seen their last shots, or heard their farewell compositions.
So before we open our arms to embrace the wonderment that is the new year, let’s take a moment to remember 10 people we said goodbye to in 2015.
Christopher Lee has been entertaining audiences since the 1940’s, and has played in some of the most iconic roles in Hollywood history. Whether he was portraying classic movie monsters, master detectives, or Jedi hobbit hunters, everything Lee touched was more important because of his involvement.
Lee had over 150 credits to his name when passed away in June at the age of 93.
So many families remember Maureen O’Hara as the actress who starred in “Miracle on 34th Street,” or Disney’s “The Parent Trap.” But O’Hara had been wowing audiences since the 1930’s, starring in films like “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “How Green Was My Valley.” O’Hara was 95 when she passed away in October from natural causes.
TV fans remember Roger Rees as Rebecca Howe’s very wealth boyfriend, Robin Colcord, while movie fans remember him as the funniest part of “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.” Rees was an accomplished actor, stage director and playwright, and in July, the multi-talented artist said goodbye to this world at the age of 71.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts and acting in community theater since the age of 8, Leonard Nimoy made his mark on just about every aspect of the entertainment world before his passing earlier this year. Beloved by sci-fi fans around the globe for his portrayal of the highly logical Spock, son of Sarek, Nimoy was also responsible for directing two of the most successful films in the Star Trek universe — “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” Nimoy was 83.
Yvonne Craig had appeared in everything from “Perry Mason” to “Gidget” before landing her most iconic role as Barbara Gordon — aka Batgirl. The television actress was a regular on the small screen between the 1950’s and 1980’s, and lent her voice to the animated series “Olivia” from 2009 to 2011. Craig reprised her most famous role as Batgirl, in the 2015 video game, “Batman: Arkham Knight.” Craig was 78 when she lost her two year battle with breast cancer.
James Horner is without question one of the great film composers of our day. If I only said he was the composer behind “Captain EO,” that would be enough, but Horner is responsible for the music behind “An American Tail,” “Willow,” “Glory,” “Field of Dreams,” “The Rocketeer,” “Sneakers,” “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “Legends of the Fall,” “Apollo 13,” “The Mask of Zorro,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Titanic,” and so, so many more. Horner’s final soundtrack will be 2016’s “The Magnificent Seven.” Horner was 61 when he was killed in a plane crash near Santa Barbara, California.
Horror fans know Wes Craven as the man behind “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and the director of the hugely popular Scream series. But Craven’s work wasn’t entirely confined to a single genre. In 1999, Craven directed “Music of the Heart” which earned actress Meryl Streep an Academy Award nomination. In August, Craven lost his battle to brain cancer. He was 76.
Star of the silver and small screen, Omar Sharif is probably best known for playing Yuri in the 1965 classic, “Doctor Zhivago,” though he was first seen by American audiences when he played Sherif Ali in “Lawrence of Arabia.” Sharif was also a big name in the bridge community, becoming known as one of the “best known contract bridge players,” according to IMDB. Omar Sharif’s licensed his name to the video game and app, Omar Sharif Bridge. Sharif passed away in July in Cairo, Egypt.
Entertainment fans knew him best as D.A. Arthur Branch from “Law and Order” or Sheriff from “Sinister,” and Republicans considered him as a possible presidential candidate. Thompson worked his way from shoe salesman to lawyer before becoming an accomplished actor and U.S. senator. Thompson was also a senior political analyst for ABC News Radio and eventually took over Bill O’Reilly’s “The Radio Factor” with “The Fred Thompson Show.” Thompson was 73 when he lost his battle with lymphoma.
You may not know Alex Rocco by name, but you’ve definitely seen him. Rocco was an actor who showed up everywhere, from major Hollywood movies like “The Godfather,” to video games like “Fallout: New Vegas.” Rocco was the kind of actor who was just as convincing as a ruthless mob boss as he was Jo’s father on “The Facts of Life.” Rocco died in July in Studio City, California at the age of 79.
Originally published KSL.com