Editor Alice K. Turner (b.1939) died on January 16 from pneumonia. Turner had served as the fiction editor at Playboy from 1980 until 2000. In 1998, she edited The Playboy Book of Science Fiction, collecting 25 science fiction stories originally published in Playboy by authors including William Tenn, Ray Bradbury, Doris Lessing, and Ursula K. Le Guin.
ETC: Corrected year of birth.
Author Kate Gilmore died during the first week of January. Gilmore is the author of the young adult novels Enter Three Witches, The Exchange Student, and The Caverns of Kwandalin. Gilmore didn’t begin publishing until she was 50.
Designer Robert Kinoshita (b.1914) died on December 9. Kinoshita began working in Hollywood in 1937, but his family was put into Japanese internment camps during World War II. In 1956, he returned to Hollywood when he was hired to design and build Robby the Robot for the film Forbidden Planet. He went on to design the robot used in the television series Lost in Space. Kinoshita has been inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame.
Producer and writer Brian Clemens (b.1931) died on January 10. Clemens was the producer of the original television series The Avengers and wrote scripts for episodes of the show. He also wrote the screenplay for The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Highlander II: The Quickening, as well as episodes of the Highlander television series.
Actor Rod Taylor (b.1930) died on January 7. Taylor is best known for playing the lead in The Time Machine, World Without End, Colossus and the Amazon Queen, and The Twilight Zone. He also appeared in The Birds and most recently Inglourious Basterds.
Director Fiona Cumming (b.1937) died on January 1. Cumming began working on Doctor Who during the Troughton years and directed several Davison episodes, including “Castrovalva,” “Snakedance,” and “Planet of Fire.” She also worked on Blakes 7 and The Omega Factor.
Author Robert Conroy (b.1938) died on December 30, succumbing to thymus cancer. Conroy began publishing with the novel 1901 in 1995, and returned to publishing in 2006 with several alternate histories, including 1862, 1945, and 1920: America’s Greatest War, among others. His works were frequently nominated for the Sidewise Award, and Conroy won the award for his 2009 novel, 1942.
Actress Donna Douglas (b.1933) died on January 1. Douglas is best known for appearing as Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, but also appeared in several episodes of The Twilight Zone, including “Eye of the Beholder.” Other genre credits include episodes of Night Gallery, Thriller, and Project U.F.O.
Spanish editor Francisco Porrúa (b.1922) died on December 18. Porrúa founded the Minotauro science fiction press and published Spanish translations of The Lord of the Rings, The Left Hand of Darkness, and The Martian Chronicles. Porrúa was also instrumental in getting Gabriel García Márquez’s novel Cien años de soledad published and recognized.
Artist Roy Scarfo (b.1926) died on December 8 from pancreatic cancer. Scarfo worked as the creative art director for GE’s Space Technology Center and also was a space art consultant for NASA, Sun, the Department of Defense, and other organizations. His own art focused on interplanetary travel and space colonization. In 1978, 35 of his paintings were exhibited at the International Space Hall of Fame as “Beyond Tomorrow.”