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.”
Actor David Ryall (b.1935) died on December 25. Ryall appeared as Elphias Doge in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and the Chief Builder in City of Ember. Ryall also appeared in Fatherland, Blake’s 7, and The Borrowers. His final film was Autómata.
Actor Booth Coleman (b.1923) died on December 15. Coleman appeared in episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits, and Planet of the Apes, in which he played Zaius. He also appeared in the film Them!.
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.
Author Donald Moffitt (b.1931) died on December 10. Moffitt began publishing science fiction in 1960 with the publication of his story “The Devil’s Due.” His first SF novel, The Jupiter Theft, was published in 1977 and was followed in 1986 with Genesis Quest and Second Genesis. In addition to writing science fiction, Moffitt published thrillers under the pseudonym Paul Kenyon.