It has been an extremely sad week for Hollywood. It’s really bizarre.
Brad Renfro (1982-2008)
First, finding out about Brad Renfro’s passing. And at such a young age, 25. I remember him best for his role in The Client with Susan Sarandon. I remember getting cable for the first time ever in 1995 and seeing The Client on HBO. I really enjoyed that movie. He also did movies Sleepers, Tom and Huck, and Bully.
Allan Melvin (1923-2008)
Allan was known for his various appearances on many television shows, including The Phil Silvers Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C, The Brady Bunch, All in the Family and Archie Bunker‘s Place. He also did cartoon voices, one of which being Bluto on Popeye. I remember him best as Sam the butcher on The Brady Bunch.
Lois Nettleton (1927-2008)
Next I heard of the death of Lois Nettleton. I’m not quite as familiar with her acting work as I am with her appearances on the various incarnations of Pyramid, but I do remember best for her guest shot role on The Golden Girls. From what I’ve seen she was a really good actress and a really good game player. I’m sure acting wise she’s probably most remembered for her role on “The Midnight Sun” episode of The Twilight Zone. She’s also been on Cagney & Lacey, In The Heat of the Night, and Seinfeld.
Suzanne Pleshette (1937-2008)
Man, I really didn’t see her death coming. Like many people, I remember her best from her role as Emily Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show. I really loved that character. I’m not as familiar with her movie roles. I have seen The Birds but it was a really, really long time ago. I also loved seeing her on Good Morning Miami, Will & Grace, and 8 Simple Rules. I remember thinking that I wished she had stayed on the latter show longer. I knew Tom Poston had lung cancer, I didn’t know she had it either. I’m sure she’s reunited in heaven with her late husband Tom.
Heath Ledger (1979-2008)
And on Tuesday evening I just could not believe it. At around 5:00 PM a good friend of mine had IM’d me and said “Heath Ledger from Brokeback Mountain died.” Heath’s, like Renfro’s death, I found to be one of the more shocking. Pretty much all of them to me were to some degree, but as of today even though it’s been almost a full day since I’ve found out, it’s like my brain is just not computing this. Part of me knows it and is heartbroken, but my brain right now is just having a difficult time still trying to understand all of this and thinks someone with a sick sense of humor trying to play a joke set all this up. It’s like the sentence “Heath Ledger is dead” doesn’t make any sense to me. And it’s really sad because he had a two year old daughter and now that poor girl will never know her father. He just had a movie completed, and it really seemed like he was on top of the world. I didn’t know he and Michelle Williams had a separation. Also like Brad, he had his whole life ahead of him. Talk about someone with such potential.
I cannot believe in a period of a week (through the 15th-22nd), we managed to lose five actors, and two of them were in their twenties. And these deaths came out of absolutely nowhere. This is insane. Hard times indeed.