Actress Billie Whitelaw (b.1932) died on December 21. Whitelaw began acting in 1952 in a BBC television adaptation of The Secret Garden and went on to appear in the miniseries Merlin and the films The Flesh and the Fiends and The Omen. She also provided voicework for The Dark Crystal. On stage, she created many roles in Samuel Beckett’s plays, and Beckett considered her a muse.
Actor Hidetoshi Nakamura (b.1954) died on December 24. Nakamura did voice work for several anime, including Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Cowboy Bebop, and Naruto Shippuden: the Movie as well as for video games. He also dubbed American films into Japanese, including The Muppets, Source Code, Bolt, and The Batman.
The Nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards have been announced. Categories with nominees of genre interest are listed below. The winners will be announced on January 25.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
- Boardwalk Emprie
- Downton Abbey
- Game of Thrones
- House of Cards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
- The Big Bang Theory
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- Modern Family
- Orange Is the New Black
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
- Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire
- Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones
- Woody Harrelson in True Detective
- Matthew McConaughey in True Detective
- Kevin Spacey in House of Cards
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
- Ty Burrell in Modern Family
- Louis C.K. in Louie
- William H. Macy in Shameless
- Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory
- Eric Stonestreet in Modern Family
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
- Get On Up
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
- X-Men: Days of Future Past
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
- 24: Live Another Day
- Boardwalk Empire
- Game of Thrones
- Sons of Anarchy
- The Walking Dead
The British Film Institute and the BBC have worked together to restore the 1913 silent film A Message from Mars, a 68-minute film believed to be the first science fiction film made in Britain and to include the first depiction of Martians in a British film. The movie is a version of Charles Dickens’s novel A Christmas Carol, with a Martian taking the place of the Christmas ghosts. The movie starred Charles Hawtrey and was remade in 1921.
Actor Ken Weatherwax (b.1955) died on December 7 from an heart attack. Weatherwax is best known for portraying Pugsley Addams on The Addams Family and in subsequent television films based on the property. After working on the show, he began to work behind the scenes in Hollywood.
Film historian Walt Lee (b.1931) died on November 23, after a battle with Alzheimer’s. Lee published the three volume Reference Guide to Fantastic Films between 1972 and 1975, for which he was award a Worldcon Special Convention Award at Aussiecon.
Producer Glen A. Larson (b.1937) died on November 15. Larson created the original Battlestar Galactica, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Knight Rider. Some of his non-genre shows included Quincy, M.E. and Magnum, P.I..
Special effects artist Michael Lennick (b.1952) died on November 7. Lennick worked on science fiction films including Harrison Bergeron, The War of the Worlds, The Fly, The Dead Zone, and many others. Lennick also made TV documentaries focusing on science and astronautics. Lennick described himself as a fan and reader of sf as well as a filmmaker.
Actress Carol Ann Susi (b.1952) died on November 11, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. She appeared in an episode of Journeyman and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, as well as the film Death Becomes Her, but she was probably best known as the voice of Debbie Wolowitz, Howard Wolowitz’s mother, on The Big Bang Theory.
The Prix Utopiales winners were announced at the Nantes Utopiales Festival International de Science-Fiction on October 31. The awards carry a prize of €3000 and are presented for works produced by Europeans and published in French in the year of eligibility. The Julia Verlanger Prize is a literary award established in 1986 which honors science fiction and fantasy novels.
- Prix Julia Verlanger: L’esprit du Melkine, by Olivier Paquet
- Prix Extraordinaire: Chris Foss
- Prix du meilleur scénario de jeux de rôle: Les Brumes de Saint-Malo, (for the game Les Larmes du Cardinal) by Pierre Éric Mouton
- Prix du meilleur jeu vidéo réalisé à la Game Jam: Neuromance, by Bastien Kerspern, Charles Perinet, Rémi Gourrierec, Alain Puget, Pierre Chabiland, and Louis Godart
- Prix de la meilleure bande dessinée de science-fiction: Punk Rock Jesus, by Sean Murphy
- Prix du Jury – compétition internationale de courts métrages: Reset, by Marcus Kryler and Fredrik Åkerström
- Prix du public – compétition internationale de courts métrages: The Nostalgist, by Giacomo Cimini
- Grand Prix du Jury – compétition internationale de longs métrages: The Midnight After, by Fruit Chan
- Prix Syfy du public – compétition internationale de longs métrages: Predestination, by Michael and Peter Spierig
- Prix Utopiales Européen Jeunesse: Pixel Noir, by Jeanne-A Debats
- Prix Utopiales Européen: Sumerki , by Dmitry Glukhovsky; translated by Denis E. Savine
For more information… (French)