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SCIFI.radio Salutes those who have contributed to our musical playlists, Science, the Science Fiction/Fantasy field, and our lives in general. The credits listed may not be their biggest nor most distinguished, but what places them in the Imagination Generation. It has been a brutal year indeed, made all the worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Buck Henry, comedy writer. Get Smart, Quark, Captain Nice. January 8.
  • Carol Serling, producer, The Twilight Zone this year, and motivating force for her husband Rod’s work throughout their lives together. January 9.
  • Ken Spivey III, Time Lord rock singer / songwriter, convention runner, and front man for the Ken Spivey Band. Died January 14 at age 38 after a long illness.
  • Christopher Tolkien, the youngest son of Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien, who edited and published his father’s work. January 16.
  • Terry Jones, Monty Python troupe member, writer, director. January 21.
  • Marj Dusay, actress, Star Trek, who stole Spock’s Brain. January 28.
  • Kirk Douglas, actor. The Vikings, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Saturn 3. February 5.
  • Orson Bean, actor. The Hobbit [Bilbo, in the 1977 animated film]. February 7.
  • Robert Conrad, star of The Wild Wild West. February 8.
  • Katherine Johnson, mathematician, portrayed in Hidden Figures. February 24.
  • Max von Sydow, actor. The Exorcist, Flash Gordon. March 8.
  • Lyle Waggoner, actor, Steve Trevor in the 1970’s TV series Wonder Woman. March 17.
  • Alfred “Al” Worden, astronaut. Command pilot of Apollo 15. March 17.
  • William Dufris, actor, original voice of Bob the Builder and award-winning audiobook narrator and producer. March 24.
  • Fred “Curly” Neal, basketball wizard, depicted in the Harlem Globetrotters cartoons. March 26.
  • Julie Bennett, actress voice of Cindy Bear on The Yogi Bear Show and more. March 31.
  • Honor Blackman, actress, Goldfinger, The Avengers. April 5.
  • Mort Drucker, iconic cartoonist for Mad magazine. April 8.
  • Danny Goldman, actor, the medical student with questions in Young Frankenstein and Brainy Smurf in the 1980s animated series The Smurfs. April 12.
  • Brian Dennehy, actor. Cocoon, Ratatouille. April 15.
  • Allen Daviau, cinematographer E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and other Spielberg films. April 15.
  • Gene Deitch, animator. Tom & Jerry, Popeye, Terrytoons, Krazy Kat. April 16.
  • Matty Simmons, co-founder of National Lampoon Magazine and produced the movies Animal House and Vacation. April 29.
  • Irrfan Khan, actor, adult Pi in The Life of Pi. April 29.
  • Peter Mayhew, actor, Chewbacca in Star Wars. April 30.
  • Charles R. Saunders, fantasy author, Imaro, Dossouye. May.
  • Fred Willard, actor. WALL-E, This Is Spinal Tap, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
  • May 15.
  • Charles Lippincott, publicist, invented the campaign for the original Star Wars. May 19.
  • Denise Cronenberg, costume designer. The Fly, Resident Evil: Afterlife. David’s sister. May 22.
  • Richard Herd, actor. Star Trek: Voyager, SeaQuest 2032, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. May 26.
  • Denny O’Neil, comic book writer, Batman, Green Lantern. June 11.
  • Mel Winkler, actor. Star Trek Voyager, New Batman Adventures. June 11.
  • Sir Ian Holm, actor. Lord of the Rings, Alien, The Fifth Element. June 19.
  • Dean Ing. SF author. June 21.
  • Joel Schumacher, director. Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, Lost Boys, Flatliners. June 22.
  • Joe Sinnott, comic book artist. Inker for Jack Kirby. June 25.
  • Kelly Adam Asbury, director, Shrek 2, Smurfs, Gnomeo & Juliet. June 26.
  • Carl Reiner, comedy writer, The 2000 Year Old Man, The Man With Two Brains. June 29.
  • Danny Hicks, actor. Evil Dead II, Darkman,Intruder. June 30.
  • Jiro Kuwata, Japanese comic book writer/artist, 8 Man, Batman: the Manga. July 2.
  • Earl Cameron, actor. Thunderball, Doctor Who. July 3.
  • Kelly Preston, actress. Twins, Battlefield Earth, The Cat in The Hat, Sky High. July 12.
  • Joanna Cole, author, The Magic School Bus. July 12.
  • Grant Imahara, electronics wizard, MythBusters, worked visual effects for Star Wars, Episodes 1-3, acted in Star Trek fan films. July 13.
  • Maurice Roëves, actor, Judge Dredd, Star Trek, Doctor Who. July 15.
  • Congressman John Lewis, graphic novel MARCH about the Civil Rights Movement. July 17.
  • Rutger Hauer, actor, Blade Runner, Ladyhawke. July 19.
  • Joan Feynman, solar astrophysicist, worked on climate change science. Famous brother, Richard. July 21.
  • John Saxon, actor. Enter the Dragon, Nightmare on Elm Street, Planet Earth. July 25.
  • William Kirk English, co-inventor of the computer mouse. July 26.
  • Wilford Brimley, actor. Coccoon, The Thing. August 1.
  • Roberta Pournelle, widow of SF author Jerry Pournelle. August 2.
  • Susan Ellison, widow of SF author Harlan Ellison. August 3.
  • Billy Goldenberg, composer for film, TV and stage. Night Gallery, Ghost Story, Duel, Amazing Stories. Wrote a stage musical of Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. August 3.
  • Russell A. Kirsch, inventor of the pixel. August 11.
  • Richard Williams, animator, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. August 16.
  • Ben Cross, actor. Star Trek [200], Chariots of Fire. August 18.
  • Lori Nelson, actress. Dry land girlfriend of The Creature From The Black Lagoon. August 23.
  • Joe Ruby, producer and writer, Scooby-Doo, founded Ruby-Spears Productions [see also Ken Spears]. August 26.
  • Chadwick Boseman, actor, Black Panther, Gods of Egypt. August 28.
  • Norm Spencer, actor who voiced Cyclops on X-Men: The Animated Series. August 31.
  • Sue C. Nichols, Disney animator. (The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and screenwriter Aladdin. September 1.
  • Jim Janes, comic book artist and animation storyboarder. Legion of Super-Heroes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. September 4.
  • Bob Fujitani, Golden Age comic book artist, from Flash Gordon to Rip Kirby. September 6.
  • Prof. Govind Swarup, radio astronomy pioneer. September 7.
  • Diana Rigg, actress, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Avengers, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who. Mrs Peel was needed elsewhere. September 10.
  • Terry Goodkind, fantasy author. September 17.
  • Penny McCarthy, actress, looked devilish in the Cantina in Star Wars. Also hand double for Carrie Fisher, installing a component before sending R2D2 on a trip to Tattooine. September 17.
  • Ron Cobb, artist and designer, Star Wars, Alien, Back to the Future. September 20.
  • Michael Lonsdale, actor. Bond villain Hugo Drax. September 21.
  • Jimmy Winston, musician and actor. Keyboardist for Small Faces, appeared in Doctor Who. September 26.
  • Takeuchi Yuko, Japanese actress. Miss Sherlock, The Ring. September 27.
  • Kevin Burns, producer, Ancient Aliens, Lost In Space reboot. September 27.
  • Gene Corman, producer, brother of Roger Corman, produced hits like Night of the Blood Beast. September 28.
  • Helen Reddy, singer, I Am Woman and creepy supernatural story-song Angie Baby. September 29.
  • Quino, Argentine cartoonist, Malfalda. September 30.
  • Chris Charnel, stuntman. Iron Man, Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey. October 4.
  • Margaret Nolan, actress and artist known as the gold-painted model in the title sequence for the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. October 5.
  • Conchata Ferrell, actress. Edward Scissorhands, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Frankenweenie. October 12.
  • Marge Champion, dancer. Performance model for Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia. October 21.
  • James “The Amazing” Randi, skeptic. October 21.
  • Richard A. Lupoff. SF author. October 22.
  • Sir Sean Connery, actor. James Bond. October 31.
  • Debra Doyle, SF/Fantasy author. October 31.
  • Charles Gordon, producer, Field of Dreams, Waterworld, October Sky. October 31.
  • Carol Arthur, actress. Widow of Dom DeLuise and mother to all those handsome DeLuise boys. Parts in Blazing Saddles and other Mel Brooks comedies.
  • Tony Eastman, animator, Doug, Codename: Kids Next Door, Beavis & Butthead. November 2.
  • Geoffrey Palmer, actor, Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers. November 5.
  • Ken Spears, producer and writer, Scooby-Doo, founded Ruby-Spears Productions [see also Joe Ruby]. November 6.
  • Alex Trebek, host and producer of Jeopardy! We all squee when a sci-fi question shows up on the board, and two SCIFI.radio staff members were contestants. November 8.
  • Michael Z. Hobson, former Marvel Executive Vice President. November 12.
  • David Hemblen, actor. X-Men The Animated Series, Earth: Final Conflict. November 16.
  • Kirby Morrow, actor. Dragon Ball Z, Ninjago. November 18.
  • Herbert Solow, producer, Star Trek. November 19.
  • Tom Lyle, comic book artist. Starman and Robin for DC, Spider-Man for Marvel. November 19.
  • Yasumi Kobayashi, Japanese science fiction, fantasy, and horror author. November 23.
  • Daria Nicolodi, Italian actress and screenwriter. Dario Argenti’s “scream queen.” November 26.
  • David Prowse, actor. Darth Vader in Star Wars. November 28.
  • Basil Moss, actor. UFO. November 28.
  • Ben Bova, SF author and editor. November 29.
  • Hugh Keays-Byrne, actor, Mad Max, Mad Max: Fury Road. December 1.
  • Richard Corben, Illustrator, Den and more in Heavy Metal. December 2.
  • David Lander, actor. Laverne & Shirley, and many, many cartoon voices. December 4.
  • General Chuck Yeager, first pilot to break the sound barrier. December 7
  • Phyllis Eisenstein, SF author. December 7.
  • Carol Sutton, actress and teacher. Last performance was in Lovecraft Country. December 10.
  • Thomas “Tommy” “Tiny” Lister Jr., actor, The Fifth Element, The Dark Knight, Zootopia. December 10.
  • Jeremy Bulloch, actor. Boba Fett in Star Wars, Robin of Sherwood. December 17.
  • Doug Crane, animator, Spider-Man, She-Ra, He-Man, Heavy Metal, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. December 17.
  • David Giler, writer and producer, Alien franchise. December 19.
  • James E. Gunn. Science Fiction Grand Master author, past president of SFWA. December 23.
  • Lin Qi. Producer on Three Body Problem. December 25.
  • Dawn Wells, actress, Gilligan’s Island. December 30.

While there is cause for sadness, there is also cause for joy. All these people spent their lives bringing light to our world. We honor their contributions, and we shall miss them all – but more rise behind them to shine new, brilliant lights of their own. Thank you, noble friends, for lives well lived and for giving us the best of yourselves.

In the meantime, be well, take your vitamins, take a walk, take a medical test, do what you can for your health, and we wish you joy in the new year.

Researched from Dead People Server, Wikipedia, Legacy.com and of course, SCIFI.radio.

-30-

Susan L. Fox
Susan L. Fox
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