Composer James Horner (b.1953) died in a small plane crash on June 22. Hornr composed and directed music for numerous science fiction and fantasy films, including The Rocketeer, Apollo 13, Blade Runner, Avatar, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Captain EO. He received his first of seven Oscar nominations of Aliens and eventually won an Oscar for Titanic.
Phil Austin (b.1941) died on June 18. Austin was the one constant member of The Firesign Theatre, founding the troupe with David Ossman, Peter Bergman, and Phil Proctor. Austin provided the voice for the character Nick Danger, one of the troupes most famous creations. He (and the rest of the group) were twice nominated for the Hugo Award for their comedy albums Don’t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers (1970) and I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus (1971).
Actor Christopher Lee (b.1922) died on June 7. Lee portrayed numerous iconic genre roles beginning with Count Dracula, but also Saruman, Count Dooku, Flay, DEATH, Scaramanga, Rochefort, and many more. Lee won several Lifetime Achievement Awards including the Saturns, Empire, SFX, and Bram Stoker.
Actor Ron Moody (b.Ronald Moodnick, 1924) died on June 11. Perhaps best known for playing Fagin in Oliver! and Vorobyaninov in The Twelve Chairs, his genre films included The Mouse on the Moon, Into the Labyrinth, A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, and Unidentified Flying Oddball. Moody has said his biggest regret was turning down an opportunity to become the third incarnation of The Doctor in Doctor Who.
Visual effects artist Kate Chappell (b.1985) was killed by a lion in South Africa on June 1. Chappell has worked on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Godzilla, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Game of Thrones. At the time of the lion attack, she was taking pictures of lions to raise money for organizations that protect animals from poachers.
The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers has announced the nominees for the 2015 Scribe Awards, presented for the best in tie-in fiction from 2014. The winners will be announced in July at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
BEST ORIGINAL NOVEL – GENERAL
- 24: Deadline, by James Swallow
- Murder She Wrote: Death of a Blue Blood, by Don Bain
- Mike Hammer: King of the Weeds, by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
- Homeland: Saul’s Game, by Andrew Kaplan
- The Killing: Uncommon Denominator, by Karen Dionne
BEST ORIGINAL NOVEL – SPECULATIVE
- Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution, by Keith R. A. DeCandido
- Grimm: Chopping Block, by John Passarella
- Star Trek: Disavowed, by David Mack
- Star Trek: Foul Deeds Will Rise, by Greg Cox
- Grimm: The Killing Time, by Tim Waggoner
- Pathfinder: The Redemption Engine, by James Sutter
- Fringe: Sins of the Father, by Christa Faust
ADAPTED NOVEL – GENERAL AND SPECULATIVE
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, by Alex Irvine
- Noah, by Mark Morris
- War of the Worlds: Goliath, by Adam Whitlach
YOUNG ADULT – ALL GENRES, ORIGINAL AND ADAPTED
- Spirit Animals: Blood Ties, by Garth Nix and Sean Williams
- Battletech: The Nellus Academy Incident, by Jennifer Brozak
- Penguins of Madagascar, by Tracey West
- Pathfinder: “Hunter’s Folly,” by Josh Vogt
- Mike Hammer: “It’s in the Book,” by Max Collins and Mickey Spillane
- Stargate: “Perceptions,” by Diana Botsford
- Pathfinder: “Queen Sacrifice,” by Steven Savile
- Tales of Valdemar: “Written in the Wind,” by Jennifer Brozek
- Dark Shadows: The Darkest Shadow, by Nev Fountain
- Dark Shadows: The Devil Cat, by Mark Thomas Passmore
- Blake’s 7: Fortuitis, by George Mann
- Doctor Who: Iterations of I, by John Dorney
- Pathfinder Legends: The Skinsaw Murders, by Cavan Scott
- International Association of Media Tie-In Writers 2015 Faust Award: Terrance Dicks
Voice actor John Stephenson (b.1923) died on May 15. Stephenson began his career on screen in the 1950s, including an appearance on Science Fiction Theatre in which he played “Phil Coulson” in the episode “Robot Doctor.” In the early 60s, he began doing voicework on the show Top Cat and eventually his work included voice roles on Jonny Quest, Atom Ant, The Flintstones, Wacky Races, and Scooby Doo. He also did voices for the two animated films based on Tolkien’s work.
Actress Grace Lee Whitney (b.1930) died on May 1. Whitney portrayed Ensign Janice Rand on Star Trek and in several of the films, as well as an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. She also appeared opposite Vincent Price in House of Wax and in an episode of The Outer Limits and as one of King Tut’s henchwomen in two episodes of Batman. Prior to her roles on television, she toured with Spike Jones’ Orchestra.
Actor Nigel Terry (b.1945) died on April 30. Terry got his start playing Walter Raleigh in the British television series Kenilworth, and appeared as Prince John a year later in The Lion in Winter. In 1981, he played King Arthur in Excalibur and later appeared as Sir Thomas Covington is the short lived Medieval series Covington Cross. His final genre role was as Cobb in the Doctor Who episode “The Doctor’s Daughter.”
Actor Rex Robinson (b.1926) died in April. Robinson appeared in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace as well as in three serials of Doctor Who, including “The Hand of Fear,” “The Monster of Peladon,” and “The Three Doctors.”