Astronaut Dale Gardner (b.1948) died on February 19. Gardner joined NASA in 1978 and made his first flight aboard Challenger flight STS-8. Gardner made a second flight on Discovery mission STS-51-A. He was scheduled to be on the first shuttle launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base before the use of that launch site was cancelled following the Challenger disaster. In 1986, he left NASA to return to the Navy.
Actress Margery Mason (b.1913) died on January 25. Mason portrayed the old lady who booed Buttercup in The Princess Bride and also appeared in Quatermass and the Pit and a bit role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Other appearances included Pink Floyd’s The Wall and the live action version of 101 Dalmatians.
Actor Malcolm Tierney (b.1938) died on February 18. Tierney portrayed Doland in four episodes of the Doctor Who serial “The Trial of a Time Lord” and had an uncredited role in Star Wars as a guard on the detention block who was shot by Luke Skywalker. He also appeared in an episode of Out of the Unknown and the films Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and The Medusa Touch.
Cosmonaut Valeri Kubasov (b.1935) died on February 19. Kubasov joined the Soviet space program in 1966 and was scheduled to fly on Soyuz 2, whcih was changed to an unmanned mission after the discovery of a faulty parachute. He was also supposed to fly on Soyuz 11, but was grounded for medical reasons. The Soyuz 11 capsule decompressed, killing its crew. Kubusov did fly on Soyuz 6 and 19 and served as the commander for Soyuz 36. The Soyuz 19 mission linked up with a US Apollo space capsule as part of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project.
Kansas City fan William Tienken (b. 1960) died on February 17. For ten years beginning in 1987, he published the fanzine Pulsar, which included more than 2500 book reviews over the course of its run. In 1997, he moved his reviewing on-line to Bookview, where he continued publishing reviews of non-fiction books. Tienken was also active in the Kansas City convention scene and was a con photographer.
Minneapolis fan Blue Petal (b.Louis Fallert 1950) died on February 16. Blue Petal suffered a stroke in December, following which he was diagnosed with central nervous system lymphoma. He began publishing Lou’s Apa in 1968, changing the name to Blue’s Apa when he took his nom de fan. In the 1970s, he joined Minneapa. He chaired Minicon 5 and co-chaired Minicon 7. He wa also an avid gamer, creating a gaming system called Castle Keep in the 70s.
Director Jimmy T. Murakami (b.Teruaki Murakami 1933) died on February 16. Murakami directed Battle Beyond the Stars and When the Wind Blows. He worked as an animator on several projects, including the 1980s television series The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and as a producer on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Scottish actor Christopher Malcolm (b.1946) died on February 15. Malcolm’s first screen role was a bit role in the 1968 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He went on to play Rogue 2 in The Empire Strikes Back, had appearances in Superman III and Labyrinth and played Kirk Matunas in Highlander. Malcolm also portrayed Brad Majors in the original stage production of The Rocky Horror Show.
Publisher Martin Greenberg (b.1918) died October 20, 2013. Greenberg founded Gnome Press in 1948 with Dave Kyle and edited several anthologies for the press. Among the works that he published while with Gnome were Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, which earned him much negative publicity when Asimov eventually published his autobiography, although other authors had good things to say about Greenberg. Greenberg eventually left the science fiction field to become an editor for Abelard–Schuman. He was not related to the anthologist Martin H. Greenberg.
Actor Ralph Waite (b.1928) died on February 13. Best known for portraying John Walton on The Waltons, he also appeared in the television series Carnivàle and episodes of The Outer Limits and Time Trax. His film work included the alternate history film Timequest, Crash and Burn, and Spirit.