Sci-Fi Stars We Lost In 2011

Let’s spare a few moments to remember those who went to the great beyond this past year

Our heartfelt thanks to every one who must sadly feature on these next few pages: you’ve all helped our beloved genre shine that little bit brighter and there’s a star out there for each of you…
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JANUARY

2 January Pete Postlethwaite, 64

Actor, The Lost World : Jurassic Park , Inception , Clash Of The Titans , Solomon Kane , Aeon Flux , Dragonheart , Alien 3 and many more.

2 January Anne Francis, 80

Actress, Forbidden Planet

9 January Peter Yates, 81

Director, Krull

15 January Susannah York, 72

Kal-El’s Kryptonian mum in the Christopher Reeves Superman movies.

30 January John Barry, 77

The man behind the greatest James Bond music, and his theme to The Black Hole is a blinder too.

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FEBRUARY

12 February Joanne Siegel, 93

Former model, widow of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel and the inspiration for Lois Lane.

18 February Walter Seltzer, 96

Film producer, Soylent Green , The Omega Man

22 February Nicholas Courtney, 81

The Brigadier, Doctor Who . Splendid chap.

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MARCH

17 March Michael Gough, 94

Actor, Alfred in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman movies, The Toymaker (and later Councillor Hedin) in classic Doctor Who , plus roles in The Avengers , Blake’s 7 , Sleepy Hollow , Hammer’s Dracula (1958) and many, many more.

26 March Diana Wynne Jones, 76

One of Britain’s finest fantasy authors: Howl’s Moving Castle , Dogsbody , Archer’s Goon , A Sudden Wild Magic and dozens of other classics.

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APRIL

17 April Bob Block, 89

Creator, Rentaghost .

19 April Elisabeth Sladen, 65

Sarah Jane Smith, the Doctor’s best friend.

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MAY

3 May Jackie Cooper, 88

Perry White in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies.

27 May Jeff Conaway, 60

Zack Allen in Babylon 5 .

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JUNE

June 3 James Arness, 88

The original Thing From Another World (okay, he may be more famous for Gunsmoke, but for us, this will always be his career high).

8 June Roy Skelton, 79

Once of the longest running Dalek voices in classic Doctor Who (plus the voice of Rainbow ’s Bungle and Zippy).

11 June Gunnar Fischer, 100

Regular cinematographer for Imgmar Bergman, he helped create the iconic visuals for The Seventh Seal .

23 June Gene Colan, 84

One of the most distinctive and dynamic DC and Marvel comic book artists of the ’60, ’70s and ’80s. His work on Tomb Of Dracula sealed his claim in the Comic Hall Of Fame.

Peter Falk, 83

The storyteller in The Princess Bride .

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JULY

6 July Keith Wilson, 69

A regular contributor on the design side from the very early days of Gerry Anderson’s TV output, Wilson eventually became the production designer on Space: 1999 and built the sets for Moonbase Alpha. He went on to have a very successful film career.

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AUGUST

15 August Colin Harvey, 50

UK author of such books as Blind Faith , Damage Time and Winter Song .

19 August Jimmy Sangster, 83

Legendary Hammer film director and scriptwriter: The Curse Of Frankenstein , Dracula , Lust For A Vampire and many, many more.

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SEPTEMBER

10 September Cliff Robertson, 88

Ben Parker in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, but way before that, Oscar winner for his lead role as a mentally disabled man in Charly , the film based on the SF novel Flowers For Algernon .

27 September Sara Douglass, 54

Australian fantasy author, with a fine line in giving history a supernatural twist in such books as the Axis Trilogy.

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OCTOBER

28 October Alvin Schwartz, 94

DC artist and writer from the Golden Age of comics. Best remembered for his Batman and Superman newspaper strips.

31 October Mick Anglo, 95

UK comic writer artist, creator of Marvelman (who went on to become Miracleman).

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NOVEMBER

21 November Anne McCaffrey, 85

Dragon writer of Pern.

27 November Ken Russell, 84

The wonderfully eccentric British director whose films always bordered on fantasy finally gave us a fully fledged SF film with Altered States and some supernatural horror with The Lair Of The White Worm .

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DECEMBER

7 December Jerry Robinson, 89

DC comic book artist and co-creator of The Joker.

14 December Joe Simon, 98

Golden Age comic book writer/artist/editor, and co-creator with Jack Kirby of Captain America.

15 December Eduardo Barreto, 57

Uruguyan artist who worked for both Marvel and DC as well as many indies, but is most famous for his work on Teen Titans and the Superman graphic novels Speeding Bullets , Under A Yellow Sun and Lex Luthor, The Unauthorized Biography .