A London Sims Tribute To Some Of The Stars We Lost In The Last 4 Months (Part One) -3rd Dec 2015 Through Jan 2016 by Jas
It was in January that this phenomena first began to catch our attention though, when some huge names of our era were snatched from us. At the very beginning of the month the first iconic name of the year died. It was a man who had brought us a massive movie, which many of us remember vividly from childhood. In the days when there were a lot less motion pictures which we (as kids) could connect to, cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmund (who died aged 85) created scenes in “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind” which will live forever in our minds. For instance, if we see anyone moulding mashed potato into shapes (which they have been mysteriously dreaming about) we are unlikely to be overly concerned. Our bags will be packed immediately, so that we can set off to a remote place, which just feels like the right location for a spaceship to arrive at!
On the fourth of January, the death came of a big name on the management side of show business. Robert Stigwood (81) had been manager of two of the seventies biggest bands- Cream and The Bee Gees. He also produced a lot of big name musical movies in the same era- including Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive and Grease.
The biggest shock to many people, though,came when David Bowie (69) died on the 10th of January. It wasn`t even as if his fans had been given time to prepare themselves. No one in the public eye had even known about his battle with the disease that had finally taken him.
He had just celebrated his 69th birthday with the release of Blackstar, his 26th studio album, and it was just weeks after the opening of his musical, Lazarus. With hindsight, it`s easy to see that his final album was a swansong, but how could we have guessed when the man behind such iconic characters as Ziggy Stardust and Aladin Sane had often expressed his deep emotions in the most confusing, but always wonderfully creative, of ways.
There was genuine shock and sadness in Second Life as the news of Bowie`s death broke, and in the London Sims we have a picture of him hanging in our busiest club (Sexy Brits,), which constantly reminds us of the major effect he has had on the world.
The first person in this section of time that we lost was Alan Rickman (69), on the 14th of January. Rickman was usually cast as the bad guy in many movies ( think of Hans Gruber in the original Die Hard movie) ,and it was looking like things were going the same way when he was cast as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. However, those of you who have seen all of that series know that Snape is not all that he seems, and Rickman`s parts in Truly Madly Deeply (1990) and Sense and Sensibilty (1995) also show much more vulnerability. Altogether Rickman was in over 60 films and TV shows, showing the diversity in this much loved British actor.
Abe Vigoda, (94) was the next big American actor to go. His portrayal of Salvatore Tessio in the huge movie “The Godfather” (1972) made him most famous. In 1982 “People” magazine reported Vigoda as dead, although he later expelled that myth by posing for a photo in “Variety” sitting up in a coffin. This time however, I fear the reports may actually be true.
Then, at the very end of January, Sir Terry Wogan (77) died. Wogan had become a household name in Britain over many decades for both his radio show and his eighties chat and quiz shows. He had a dry wit – especially when commentating during The Eurovision Song Contest. He was born in Ireland, but eventually became dual nationality, which enabled him to receive a Knighthood in honour of his work for the British entertainment industry. At one time he was the most listened to radio broadcaster in Europe.