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).
Philadelphia and Charleston fan Sandy Swank (b.Gregory A. Swank, 1959) died on June 13. Swank served as President of the Greater Delaware Valley Costumers Guild and was also active in the SCA. In May 2015, Swank, along with his husband, Rob Himmelsbach, co-chaired CostumeCon 33 in Charleston, SC. Swank was active in living history education as well.
Seattle area fan Bruce E. Durocher II (b.1959) died on June 14. Durocher ran videos and film for the 2005 NASFIC, Cascadia Con, and was active in Seattle fandom. A film fan and reviewer, he was married to artist Margaret Organ-Kean.
Jack King (b.1931) died on June 11. King served as the Kennedy Space Center’s Chief of Public Information from 1960-71 and as NASA’s Public Affairs Officer from 1971-5. During that time, he was the voice of Mission Control, announcing the launch of Apollo 11, among others.
German author Wolfgang Jeschke (b.1936) died on June 10. Jeschke discovered German science fiction fandom in the 1950s and in 1955 became one of the first members of Science Fiction Club Deutschland. His early stories were published in fanzines, but he eventually went on to work in publishing as an editor as well as write his own novels, including Der letzte Tag der Schöpfung and Midas oder Die Auferstehung des Fleisches. Jeschke was one of the Pro Guests of Honor at ConFiction, the 1990 Worldcon held in The Hague.
Paul Bacon (b.1923) died on June 8. Bacon was a book jacket designer perhaps best known for the cover of Joeph Heller’s Catch-22 and Peter Benchley’s Jaws. Some of his genre works included the covers for Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Ellen Datlow’s Alien Sex, and Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain.
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.
Fan Michael Wernig (b.1954) died on June 3. Wernig was a member of the Albuquerque Science Fiction Society and a frequent attendee at Bubonicon.