Friday, February 04, 2005

R.I.P. - John Vernon & Ossie Davis

It's kind of weird and very sad that so many blog posts of late are death announcements - Eisner, Carson, the list goes on. Someone (I think it was Will Pfeiffer) even said that, to him, it felt like his blog activities had become more like obituary writing than anything else, and it is for that reason that I have tried to stay away from getting caught up in that (especially when so many others are saying it so much better than I).

I'm gonna break that rule for one post (we'll take it on a case by case basis from here on out, k?) because I have just caught wind of two deaths in the industry this week, and considering my previous Batman post, I figured I'd start in by saying a hearty goodbye to actor John Vernon who died Tuesday at the age of 72.

Although most people remember him for his portrayal of Dean Wormer in Animal House, I remember him for his voicework. John lent his voice to many animated series over the course of his career, and I was always a fan of his Rupert Thorne on Batman the Animated Series. He was there right in very the beginning of the show and continued to play the character right up until the last STV feature, Mystery of the Batwoman.

Another sad loss this week was that of Ossie Davis, who was found dead in his hotel room - he was 87. Ossie wore many hats over the course of his life. He was an accomplished actor, writer and director and, if I'm not mistaken, I seem to remember hearing that he was also very involved with the civil rights movement. The article I linked to a line or two ago referred to him as a true renaissance man, and I think that term is a fitting one.

The last thing I saw Ossie in was the brilliant Bubba Ho-Tep opposite another fine actor, Bruce Campbell. The two were great together, and Ossie's performance as John F. Kennedy was memorable, to say the least.


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