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The Red Carpet Reel Movie Articles
Film Censorship Impedes on Freedom of Speech
Slumdog Millionaire wins big at Oscars
Remembering Those Who Passed Away in 2008
Oscar Winner Becomes Country Singer
Legendary Paul Newman Passes Away
Hollywood Legend Heston Passes Away
The Film That Killed the Duke
Classics Sadly Falling on Deaf Ears
Blazing Westerns: Mel Brooks Spoofs the Western Genre
Academy Award Nominees
The Film That Changed It All

Remembering Those Who Passed Away in 2008

by Julian Spivey


The year of 2008 has come to an end and so it is time to remember those that we have lost over the past year and pay tribute to them for their lifetime of entertaining us.


Paul Newman

1/26/25-9/26/08 (lung cancer)


Newman is without a doubt one of the greatest actors to have ever graced a film screen. He was a best actor Academy Award winner for his role in Martin Scorsese’s 1986 film “The Color of Money.” He starred in some of the finest motion pictures that have ever been made including: “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “The Hustler,” “Hud,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid,” “The Sting” and “Absence of Malice.” For more on the death of Paul Newman Click Here.


Charlton Heston

10/4/24-4/5/08 (complications from Alzheimer’s disease)


Heston was the man with the chiseled good looks that made him a mainstay in every Hollywood Biblical epic. He was a best actor Academy Award winner for his role in William Wyler’s 1959 film “Ben-Hur.” Heston starred in other classics such as “The Greatest Show on Earth,” “The Ten Commandments,” “Touch of Evil,” “El Cid,” “Planet of the Apes,” and “Soylent Green.” For more on the death of Charlton Heston Click Here.


Richard Widmark

12/26/14-3/24/08 (complications following a fall)


Widmark could play one good and creepy bad guy, but he also played great good guys as well. Widmark was nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for Henry Hathaway’s 1947 film “Kiss of Death,” where he earned his claim to fame as the villainous Tommy Udo. He also starred in “The Last Wagon,” “The Alamo,” “Two Rode Together,” “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “How the West Was Won” and “Cheyenne Autumn.”


Heath Ledger

4/4/79-1/22/08 (accidental overdose of prescription drugs)


Ledger was one of Hollywood’s young studs who had already been nominated by for a best actor Academy Award for his role in Ang Lee’s 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain.” There is good speculation that he will receive a posthumous Oscar nomination for his role as The Joke in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Ledger also appeared in “10 Things I Hate About You,” “The Patriot,” “A Knight’s Tale,” “Monster’s Ball” and “I’m Not There.”


Sydney Pollack

7/1/34-5/26/08 (cancer)


Pollack won the best director Academy Award for his 1985 film “Out of Africa,” which starred Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. The film was also the winner of the coveted best picture award. Pollack also received best director nominations for “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” and “Tootsie.”


Roy Scheider

11/10/32-1/17/08 (multiple myeloma)


Scheider was a two-time Academy Award nominee. He was nominated for best supporting actor for his role in William Friedkin’s 1971 film “The French Connection” and nominated for best actor for his role in Bob Fosse’s 1979 film “All That Jazz.” He is also well known for his role as Police Chief Martin Brody in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster “Jaws.”


Van Johnson

8/25/16-12/12/08 (natural causes)


Johnson often played the “nice guy, boy next door” role in American films. He starred in such films as “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” “In the Good Old Summertime,” “The Caine Mutiny” and “The Last Time I Saw Paris.”


George Carlin

5/12/37-6/22/08 (heart failure)


Carlin is best known as one of the greatest stand-up comedians to ever tell a joke. His biggest routine throughout his entire career was the infamous “Seven Dirty Words.” Carlin also appeared in many films in his career including his role in Kevin Smith’s 1999 film “Dogma.”


Bernie Mac

10/5/57-8/9/08 (complications from pneumonia)


Mac was a successful stand-up comedian who became an award nominated actor on a television show named after him “The Bernie Mac Show” and then a comedic film star. Mac appeared in such films as “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Mr. 3000,” “Guess Who,” “Pride,” and “Transformers.”


Isaac Hayes

8/20/42-8/10/08 (stroke)


Hayes in a rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame musician who is best known for composing and singing what might be the most famous film theme song of all time “Shaft.” Hayes also appeared in films and is well known for his role of Chef in the long running television series “South Park.”


Jerry Reed

3/20/37-9/1/08 (complications from emphysema)


Reed was a famous country music guitar player and singer who had such hits as “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” and “Eastbound and Down.” “Eastbound and Down” was the theme song for Hal Needham’s 1977 film “Smokey and the Bandit,” in which Reed co-starred with Burt Reynolds. Reed also appeared in the films “Smokey and the Bandit II,” “Smokey and the Bandit III,” “Bat*21” and “The Waterboy.”


Cyd Charisse

3/8/22-6/17/08 (complications following a heart attack)


Charisse was a beautiful leggy dancer who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in the 1957 film “Silk Stockings.” She is best known for her part in the long dance sequence with Gene Kelly in the 1952 musical “Singin’ in the Rain.”


Brad Renfro

7/25/82-1/15/08 (heroin overdose)


Renfro started his career as a child actor in films like “The Client” and “Tom & Huck.” As he grew into adulthood he starred in much more mature films like Larry Clark’s 2001 film “Bully.”


Suzanne Pleshette

1/31/37-1/17/08 (respiratory failure)


Pleshette was best known for her role as Bob Newhart’s wife Emily in the hit 1970s sitcom “The Bob Newhart Show.” She had a rather big supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror-thriller “The Birds.”


Harvey Korman

2/15/27-5/29/08 (complications from a rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm)


Korman was a Golden Globe winning actor for his part in the highly successful “The Carol Burnett Show.” Korman’s most famous film role is likely that of the comedic villain Hedley Lamarr in the Mel Brooks directed 1974 Western spoof “Blazing Saddles.”


Estelle Getty

7/25/23-7/22/08 (Lewy body disease)


Getty is most known for her role as Sophia Petrillo in the sitcom “The Golden Girls,” for which she won an Emmy and a Golden Globe award. She also appeared in the infamous film bomb “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot,” co-starring Sylvester Stallone.


Sam Bottoms

10/17/55-12/16/08 (brain cancer)

Bottoms was best known for his role as Billy in Peter Bogdonavich’s 1971 film classic “The Last Picture Show.” He also starred “Apocalypse Now,” “Bronco Billy” and “Shopgirl.”


Robert Mulligan

8/23/25-12/20/08 (heart disease)


Mulligan was an Academy Award nominated director for his 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Mulligan also directed “Fear Strikes Out,” “Summer of ’42,” “Same Time, Next Year” and “The Man in the Moon.”


Charles Joffe

7/16/29-7/9/08 (lung cancer)


Joffe was an Academy Award winning producer for Woody Allen’s 1977 best picture Oscar winning “Annie Hall.”


Ann Savage

2/19/21-12/25/09 (complications following a stroke)


Savage was a film noir femme fatale who starred in the famous 1945 noir film “Detour.”


Robert Prosky

12/13/30-12/8/08 (complications following heart surgery)


Prosky was an American character actor who starred in such films as “Dead Man Walking,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Rudy” and “Broadcast News.”


Anita Page

8/4/10-9/6/08 (natural causes)


Page was a silent film star who was once known as “the girl with the most beautiful face in Hollywood.” She appeared in such films as “Night Court,” “Gentleman’s Fate” and “While the City Sleeps.”


George Furth

12/14/32-8/11/08 (cause of death unknown)


Furth was a character actor who was known for playing nervous characters. He is best known for his role of Woodcock, whom is robbed twice by Paul Newman and Robert Redford in George Roy Hill’s 1969 classic “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.”


Evelyn Keyes

11/20/16-7/4/08 (uterine cancer & Alzheimer’s disease)


Keyes is best known as playing Scarlet O’Hara’s sister in Victor Fleming’s 1939 classic “Gone with the Wind.” She also had roles in “Union Pacific,” “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” and “The Seven Year Itch.”


Arthur C. Clarke



Clarke was a science fiction writer. He is best known for co-writing the script of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.”


John Phillip Law

9/7/37-5/13/08 (cause of death unknown)


Phillip Law is a Golden Globe nominated actor. He was nominated for his role in Norman Jewison’s 1967 film “The Russians are Coming The Russians are Coming.” He also appeared in “Barbarella.”


Don LaFontaine

8/26/40-9/1/08 (collapsed lung)


LaFontaine was known as “the voice of God.” He was the premiere voice over guy in Hollywood and did the voice overs for more than 5,000 film trailers.