Monday, February 11, 2008

RIP: Men of Distinction

Representative Tom Lantos passed away yesterday at 80 of esophageal cancer. The only Holocaust survivor elected to Congress, he represented parts of San Francisco and San Mateo County. He was known for supporting the socially liberal agenda of his constituents and was a proponent of same-sex marriage.

I first heard of Rep. Lantos in the film The Last Days. He spoke of his survival during the Holocaust, escaping twice from labor camps, eventually finding his way to Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and eventually fighting for the resistance. In Last Days, he said spoke of telling his children that he had lost all his family in the Holocaust and that his children were determined to help him have a great big family again—he is survived by 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

You never heard of John Alvin, but he created some of the most iconic movie posters of the last 30 years. From Blazing Saddles, to E.T. to The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Blade Runner, The Lion King, The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Harry Potter, and The Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. He died of a heart attack at age 59. [Special thanks to Jill for sending me this, as I otherwise would have missed it.]

Last, Roy Scheider, the man who uttered one of my most favorite lines in film, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat,” passed away due to multiple myeloma at age 75. Best known for his role as Police Chief Martin Brody in Jaws, he had over 80 films to his credit. Twice nominated for an Oscar, for The French Connection and All That Jazz, he continued to work and has two films to be released this year.

1 comment:

Michele said...

Quite sad about Tom Lantos. He gave some of his fellow reps big headaches, which is always a good thing. The generation of Holocaust survivors will all be gone soon, leaving the rest of us to safeguard their memory. That's a big responsibility.

Totally freakin' sad about Scheider. I think he was the first "older man" actor I had a big crush on. Jaws will always be one of my alltime fav movies because of this sexy man, and All That Jazz is remarkable, simply remarkable. He seemed like a good guy. Very sad.