Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The passings parade

Movie producer Steven Reuther shuffled off this mortal coil on Saturday after a long bout with cancer—he was 58. Among the many film projects on his c.v.: Dirty Dancing (1987), Pretty Woman (1990), The Mambo Kings (1992), The Client (1994), Face/Off (1997), The Rainmaker (1997), The Replacements (2000) and Sweet November (2001).

Silent film actress Yvonne Howell-Stevens has also passed on as a result of heart failure on May 27 at her Hollywood home at the age of 104. She appeared in a few films, notably Fashions for Women (1927), Somewhere in Sonora (1927), Great Mail Robbery (1927) and Take Me Home (1928)—until she met cameraman and future director George Stevens (who oversaw many of the Laurel & Hardy shorts at the Hal Roach Studios) in 1928 and married him two years later. The couple later divorced in 1937.

Marvin Isley, the bass-playing brother in the rhythm-and-blues group the Isley Brothers, played his final notes on Sunday by expiring at the age of 56. He joined the band in 1973, long after the group had established themselves with song hits like Shout, This Old Heart of Mine and It’s Your Thing. It was his bass that gave the group its distinctive powerhouse sound in the 1970s; producing further Top Ten tunes like That Lady and Fight the Power. Complications from diabetes forced Marvin into retirement in 1996, but the brothers were later inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. (A doff of the TDOY chapeau to M. Bouffant of Just Another Blog [from L.A,] ™ for alerting me to Isley’s passing.)

Finally, author David Markson has written his last novel and gone on to his rich reward at the age of 82. Markson’s many pulp fiction works include Epitaph for a Tramp (1959) and Epitaph for a Deadbeat (1961), and in 1965 he penned The Ballad of Dingus Magee—which was adapted by Joseph Heller and Tom & Frank Waldman into the 1970 cult film Dirty Dingus Magee, directed by Burt Kennedy and starring Frank Sinatra. Markson also scripted Cry for Me, Billy, a 1972 western featuring TDOY faves Harry Dean Stanton and James Gammon.

R.I.P, Messrs. Reuther, Isley and Markson…and Madame Howell-Stevens. You will be missed.

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1 comment:

Tom said...

For Madame Howell-Stevens, the final intertitle read "The End"