The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers has named Ann C. Crispin the 2013 Grandmaster. Crispin has received the award for her work on such franchises as Alien, Zorro, Star Wars, Star Trek, V, and Pirates of the Caribbean. In addition to her tie-in work, Crispin has also written the StarBridge YA series and is one of the forces behind Writers Beware. The award, also known as the Faust, will be presented at a ceremony in July at Comic-Con in San Diego when the IAMTIW presents the annual Scribe Awards for tie-ins.
Actor Richard LeParmentier (b.1946) died on April 15. LeParmentier is best known for his portrayal of General Motti in Star Wars, where he was strangled by Darth Vader after questioning the power of the Force. His other genre roles included a reporter in Superman II, Lt. Santino in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and an episode of Space: 1999. LeParmentier, who also used the name Richard Parmentier focused on screenwriting and voice work after 1992.
Actor Jonathan Winters (b.1925) died on April 11. Winters made his film debut in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and also appeared in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming. He created the character Maude Frickert, but is best known to genre audiences for his role as Mearth on Mork and Mindy. Other genre work includes an episode of The Twilight Zone, the film The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, and voice-work on The Smurfs film.
Actor Richard Brooker (b.1954) died on April 8. Brooker portrayed Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part III, Oghris in Deathstalker, and Leon in Deep Sea Conspiracy. Brooker also served as a stunt coordinator and appearing in many documentaries about the Friday the 13th films.
Actress Annette Funicello (b.1942) died on April 8. Funicello was one of the original members of The Mickey Mouse Club and went on to a successful career in film, including making many “Beach Blanket” films with Frankie Avalon. She made her big screen debut in The Shaggy Dog and also appeared in Babes in Toyland, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine.
Fan and movie critic Roger Ebert (b.1942) died on April 4. Ebert, who is best known for his television shows with Gene Siskel reviewing films and the creation of the thumbs up/thumbs down movie review system, got his start as a fanzine writer while in high school, publishing the zine Stymie and having his writing appear in Xero, Yandro, and other zines. Although he did spend some time distancing himself from his fannish roots, he returned to write the introduction to The Best of Xero. In college, he was a member of the Champaign-Urbana Science Fiction Association.
Actor Milo O’Shea (b.1926) died on April 2. O’Shea’s best known genre appearance was in the film Barbarella, in which he portrayed Durand Durand. O’Shea also appeared in the films Theatre of Blood and The Purple Rose of Cairo and episodes of Journey to the Unknown, Out of the Unknown, and Out of This World. Outside of genre films, he may have been best known for portraying Leopold Bloom in Ulysses.
Jane Henson (b.1934, Jane Nebel) died on April 2 of cancer. Henson met Jim Henson in college and the two married in 1959. She helped him create the Muppets and collaborated with him on shows, traveling exhibits, and finding talent. She and Henson separated in 1986, but she continued to support his work and in 1992, she founded the Jim Henson Legacy to preserve his artistic contributions.
Spanish director Jesús Franco (b.1930) died on April 2, a week after suffering a stroke. Franco began composing music as a six year old and in the 1950s turned his attention to film. Franco was a prolific director of horror films, including Succubus, Le lac des morts vivants, and Drácula contra Frankenstein. In many of the more than 180 films he directed he also worked as composer, writer, cinematographer, and editor. Early in his career, Franco wrote some fiction under the name David Khume.
Actor Richard Griffiths (b.1947) died on March 28 following heart surgery. An acclaimed stage actor, Griffiths is best known to fannish audiences for his role as Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter films. He also appeared as Swelter in the BBC production of Gormenghast, King George in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and the voice of Jeltz in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Other genre films include Superman II, Hugo, and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. Griffiths received an OBE in 2008.