A moment of silence for the dearly departed
By Jose Anguiano – Cinematic Bandicoot
January 15th, 2023
As we move into the new year, we must first look back on the legends we lost in 2022. While nowhere near as devastating as 2016, several icons faded from this world after leaving their mark on entertainment. They may be gone, but their legacy will live on through the escapism of films and television. This is a tribute to the losses of 2022.
Feb. 20th, 1927 – Jan. 6th, 2022
The first African American to win an Oscar in 1964 for his role as a former G.I. in “Lilies of the Field”, his legacy as a Hollywood activist at the height of the Civil Rights movement elevated his status by starring in leading roles rather than supporting roles that could have been cut out at the time.
His first starring roles in 1950’s “No Way Out” and “The Defiant Ones” garnered him attention after being denied work because of his thick accent.
Nonetheless, Poitier prevailed in securing more leading roles like Mr. Mark Thackeray in “To Sir With Love”, followed by Virgil Tibbs from “In the Heat of the Night” where his character confronted racist antagonists.
His role as Matt Drayton from “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” also broke ground in depicting an interracial relationship when it was rarely seen onscreen.
In 2002, Poitier received an Honorary Award at the Oscars commemorating his lifetime achievements in entertainment.
Poitier also received the Medal of Freedom by then President Barack Obama in 2009.
Stars like Denzel Washington cited Poitier as an inspiration, and though he is gone his legacy will continue to inspire others to give their best in the face of adversity.
Mar. 20th, 1950 – Mar. 13th, 2002
A multi-award nominated actor since teaming up with Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat”, Hurt’s career covered many movie roles like Luis Molina in “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, James Leeds in “Children of a Lesser God”, Macon Leary from “The Accidental Tourist”, George Gulden from “One True Thing”, Professor Allen Hobby from “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”, Richie Cusack from “A History of Violence”, and Emile Hirsch’s father from “Into the Wild”.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hurt played General Thaddeus Ross in “The Incredible Hulk”, “Captain America: Civil War”, “Avengers: Infinity War”, and “Black Widow”, often siding against the heroes who went out of their way to protect humanity.
His characters were always down to earth yet dealt with larger-than-life situation. No one but him could have played the part subtly compared to the environments that he found himself in.
Apr. 22nd, 1928 – Apr. 2nd, 2022
One of the regular side characters on “Seinfeld”, she is most famous for playing Geroge Costanza’s mother, Estelle Costanza.
She also voiced Mrs. Potato Head in the “Toy Story” sequels and Dr. Draken’s mother Mama Lipsky in Disney’s “Kim Possible”.
Though her characters were often the ire of everyone’s plans, she played them with such dedication and affection.
Even costar Jason Alexander opened up to losing both her and his tv father Jerry Stiller, who played Frank Costanza on the series and passed away in 2020.
The Constanzas’ might have been difficult people to be around in “Seinfeld”, but they created some of the most memorable moments in the series’ history.
Apr. 10th, 1929 – Apr. 15th, 2022
Another “Seinfeld” regular, she played Jerry’s mother who got caught up in her son’s life on more than on occasion.
One of the most famous scenes was when she scolded her son for making out in a screening of “Schindler’s List” thanks to Newman attending on the same night.
She also played the nosey neighbor Raquel Ochmonek in the series “ALF” about an alien who lives with a suburban family.
Through her two roles, she reached several generations of audiences that will not be forgotten anytime soon.
May 17th, 1957 – Jan. 8th, 2022
Equally crass and sentimental, Saget made a name for himself in adult stand up as one of the raunchiest comedians of his time.
Outside hist comedy routines, his most famous roles were the original host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos”, Ted Mobsy in the series “How I Met Your Mother”, and Danny Tanner from the sit-com “Full House”, along with its Netflix sequel “Fuller House”.
Though the public was shocked at the circumstances of his passing, the laughs he left on stage and at home received outpouring support to his family and “Full House” is still fondly remembered by the audience who grew up with it over the years.
Feb. 28th, 1955 – Apr. 12th, 2022
Another versatile comedian, Gottfried’s shrill voice made him stick out from the crowd during his stand-up sessions, some of which led to his most famous jokes including “The Aristocrats”.
He also voiced several characters in commercials like the Aflac duck and Seymour the smoke detector.
Though his humor made people laugh, it also landed him in hot water several times like in 2011 when he tweeted jokes about the earthquake in Japan.
Those tweets cost him his role as the Aflac duck since 75% of the company’s customers were from Japan, although people laughed after a decade passed.
Gottfried also voiced many animated characters like the sleazy salesman Art DeSalvo in “Duckman”, Mr. Mxyzptlk in “Superman: The Animated Series”, Dr. Bender and his son Wendel from “The Fairly OddParents”, Santa Claus in “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy”, Kraang Subprime in Nickelodeon’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, and most prominently Iago the parrot in Disney’s “Aladdin”.
Gottfried was also close friends with Bob Saget, even when he roasted him on several occassions.
He also became a prominent internet celebrity by reading E.L. James’ “50 Shades of Grey” for the YouTube channel CollegeHumor.
He was also the subject of 2017 documentary “Gilbert” that examined his life in and out of the comedy spotlight.
“Which is the worst crime?” Gottfried tweeted. “Chris Rock being physically assaulted or Chris Rock telling a joke?”
Not matter how crass anyone found his humor; Gottfried always left an impression in the real world, animation, and with his family. He now joins other comedy legends like George Carlin and Don Rickles. May he keep everyone laughing, even in the darkest of times.
March 26th, 1940 – July 6th, 2022
A frequent character actor, Caan is most famous for playing gritty roles like Axel Freed in “The Gambler”, Frank in “Thief”, Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather” movies, Paul Sheldon in “Misery”, and Walter Hobbes in “Elf”, although he became irritated that people remembered him in the latter rather than his earlier work.
Caan is survived by his five children, including his son Scott Caan, who became an actor, and his granddaughter Josie.
Whether young or old, Caan always knew how to be tough in a world that always beat down his characters.
Dec. 28th, 1932 – Jul. 30th, 2022
The one and only Lt. Nyota Uhura from the original “Star Trek” series, she pioneered African American women roles on television and even met Martin Luther King Jr. who encouraged her to stay on the show.
Before “Stark Trek”, she was a prominent singer/dancer with her own rendition of “Why Don’t You Do Right”
She also published her autobiography “Beyond Uhura” Star Trek and Other Memories” and worked with NASA to increase diversity within the space program.
Star Trek alumni and fans paid their respects following the announcement of her passing as she took her place in the stars along with everyone else on this list.
May 5th, 1927 – Jul. 30th, 2022
A staple of theater and television, Pat Carroll starred in stage adaptations of “Romeo and Juliet”, “Cinderella” and “Volpone”.
Her other notable role as Grandmother Arbuckle in “Garfield’s Thanksgiving” and “A Garfield Christmas” earned her adoration from the animation community.
She also voiced one of the most iconic villains of the Disney renaissance, Ursula from “The Little Mermaid”, a role she frequently reprised in the “Kingdom Hearts” video games, “Disney’s House of Mouse”, and “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse”.
Whether good or evil, Carroll will always be associated with the best on stage and animated talent thanks to her versatile voice.
Sep. 16th, 1935 – Oct. 25th, 2022
The cofounder of animation studio Rankin/Bass, he produced, directed and animated numerous stop-motion specials and hand drawn movies that have since become annual holiday viewings – “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Frosty the Snowman”, “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”, “The Little Drummer Boy”, “The Year Without a Santa Claus”, 1977’s “The Hobbit”, 1980’s “The Return of the King”, and “The Last Unicorn” just to name a few.
He also wrote several children’s books about “Herb the Vegetarian Dragon” following his retirement from directing in 1987.
Though both founders have passed away, their holiday specials play every year around December ensuring that their legacy lives on for future generations.
Mar. 30th, 1950 – Oct. 14th, 20022
One of the biggest comedians straight out of Britain, Coltrane got his start on the series “Tutti Frutti” before landing the role of Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the James Bond films “Goldeneye” and “The World is Not Enough”.
But his biggest rise to fame in America was when he played the half-giant Rubeus Hagrid in the eight “Harry Potter” films.
He played him so well that his speech in the HBO Max reunion special was one of the highlights for fans who mourned his passing.
While not recognizable as an adult, he was the first voice of Charlie Brown in the Peanuts specials – “A Boy Named Charlie Brown”, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”.
His voice as the insecure bald boy lives on every year as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” became a staple of the holidays on cable and streaming.
She starred in many tv shows like “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and 2017’s “Girlboss, but she’s well-known for playing one of the greatest movie villains of all time Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, where she delighted in keeping her patients under control.
For her role, she received an Oscar, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe.
Nurse Ratched might have been despicable, but Fletcher’s performance made it memorable to the very end.
Oct. 26th, 1946 – Feb. 12th, 2022
A multitalented filmmaker, Reiteman’s most famous directorial works include comedies like “Meatballs”, “Stripes”, “Dave”, and the cultural phenomenon “Ghostbusters”, which spawned sequels, several video games, and tv shows.
He also produced several films like “Animal House”, “Beethoven”, “Hitchcock”, and the cult classic “Space Jam”.
During the “In Memorial” segment at the 2022 Oscars, Bill Murray gave a shout out to his frequent collaborator.
Even the YouTube channel Screen Junkies held a moment of silence for his passing during their “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” video.
Reitman is survived by his son Jason Reitman, who became a director with such hits like “Thank You For Smoking”, “Juno”, “Up in the Air”, “Young Adult”, “Tully”, and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife”.
He may be gone, but his spirit lives on in everything and everyone he worked with.
Jason David Frank
Sept. 4th, 1973 – Nov. 19th, 2022
The man who embodied the popular green ranger in “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”, Jason David Frank also practiced martial arts which gave his more authenticity when it came to the fights.
He also cameoed in the 2017 movie along with costar Amy Jo Johnson.
There have been many incarnations of the Power Rangers since 1993, but there will always be one Green Ranger.
Oct. 16th, 1925 – Oct. 11th, 2022
Another stage legend, Lansbury’s credits are too many to list over several generations, but some of her most iconic roles include Mrs. Loveitt from Steven Sodenheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, Jessica Fletcher from “Murder She Wrote”, Mrs. Eglantine Price from Disney’s “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”, Mrs. Potts from 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast”, and the Dowager Empress from Don Bluth’s “Anastasia”.
Though she is usually remembered as a kindly mother figure to the younger generation, her ability to play devious villains elevated her ability to play any role in any era.
Her final cameo in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” was fitting given her legacy, and one that we will never be experienced again.
Nov. 30th, 1955 – Nov. 10th, 2022
Of all the actors that played Batman over the years, Conroy remained a fan favorite for being one of the talented people who elevated “Batman: The Animated Series” to its legendary status thanks to his deep, intimidating voice.
Conroy voiced Batman for decades in animation while the likes of Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, and Robert Pattinson passed the live-action torch in that same time span.
In fact, his method of changing voices between the superhero and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, was inspired by Keaton in the Tim Burton films.
In addition to reprising his role in other DC animated properties like “Batman Beyond” and “Justice League”, he and costar Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker, repirsed their opposite roles in Rocksteady’s “Arkham” video games.
However, that did not stop him from live action roles as he played Bruce Wayne in CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.
Upon his death, Hamill and other costars expressed their grief from losing their collaborator.
Rocksteady’s upcoming video game “Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League” will be Conroy’s final performance as the caped crusader. A fitting swan song for the animated Dark Knight.