R.I.P. Terry Pratchett

There are very few things in this world that make me deeply sad, these days. Sure, I feel sadness, and yes, I cry, but there is a surprising lack of things that make me feel the emptiness in the bottom of my gut that tells me that this is something which has truly hurt me on an emotional level – the kind of thing that doesn’t hurt until you really think about it, truly acknowledge that it is happening, and that nothing you can do will ever change that. To me, this is one of those situations.

In his daughter’s words, via his Twitter account, “Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.”

Terry was an inspiration to a great many people in a number of ways – he was a spectacular author, having written the Discworld series, along with the Johnny And The… series among others. Personally, I will remember him most for The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents, my first book of his, and The Hogfather, which to this day inspires me to want to be a successful writer.

All that I can say now is that I hope that his ideas about life, and in particular death, or even Death, are anything close to reality. I can see it now, both Terry and Death discussing something intelligent and remarkable, something that the majority of the world could only even consider because Terry would have written about it.

He will be dearly missed, and we here at TGTRS would like to offer our condolences to Terry’s family and friends.

Terry Pratchett
R.I.P. Terry Pratchett, 1948 – 2015

I would like to end on a quote from one of his books, The Light Fantastic (1986):

“The death of the warrior or the old man or the little child, this I understand, and I take away the pain and end the suffering. I do not understand this death-of-the-mind.” – DEATH

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R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy

It is my great displeasure to be the one to announce that, sadly, Leonard Nimoy has passed away. In terms of the media, Leonard Nimoy is one of very few to have embraced all the major forms, being involved with acting, writing (both literature and for production), directing, music and art. He’s been involved with spin-off material and has managed to become one of science fictions most recognisable faces, even for people who can’t stand sci-fi.

Be it his “The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins”, or the heroic sacrifice in Wrath of Khan, Leonard Nimoy is a man whose impact upon society, or at least, the nerd sub-culture, cannot be denied, be it from his contributions as a writer, a director, or an actor.

I for one, am greatly saddened by his shuffling off of this mortal coil – we here at TGTRS would like to offer our condolences to Leonard’s friends and family at this tough time.

He's dead, Jim
R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy, 1931 – 2015

That Guy

R.I.P Richard Kiel

If you ask the average person on the street to name a Bond villain then chances are Jaws will come up, and rightfully so. Jaws is by far one of the most memorable and iconic of all of James Bond’s adversaries and a major reason for this is Richard Kiel, who sadly passed away today. While I’m obviously very aware that Kiel was in a large amount of movies and tv shows such as Happy Gilmore (1996) and The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) episode To Serve Man (1962), to me and many others, his role as Jaws is the one that he’ll be remembered for. Kiel’s performance brought a very real personality to the character of Jaws. Instead of being the monster-esque heavy that the character was originally intended to be, Jaws became a fuller character, experiencing emotions such as anger, confusion, pride, joy, fear and perseverance. Kiel’s role in this is critical, all of it was his doing and he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the performance. Jaws appears in two Bond films, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979), with both having very different takes on his character. The Spy Who Loved Me has Jaws as a straight henchmen who is actually pretty terrifying at times, the scene where he attacks Anya in the train is still bloody chilling. Moonraker has a more comedic Jaws, Kiel himself has described him as the coyote from the roadrunner cartoons, he just keeps coming. Hell, the fact that Jaws returns in Moonraker shows how popular he was. I’ve often thought of Moonraker as a Bond film made by focus group, everything popular in the late 1970’s is in Moonraker, James Bond, disco, sci-fi, a story that’s a blatant re-hash of The Spy Who Loved Me, eugenics. The fact that audiences liked Jaws so much that the writers of The Spy Who Loved Me changed the film’s ending so that he kills a shark WITH HIS TEETH is testament to the characters legacy and, ultimately, Kiel’s power as an actor. We here at That Guy That Reviews Stuff offer our heartfelt condolences to the Kiel family at this time and member an actor who loved his work, his family and life. I know I’ll be watching both of his Bond films many more times.

 

R.I.P Richard Kiel

(1939-2014)

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R.I.P Robin Williams

I woke up this morning to news that comedian Robin Williams has died. Williams is being described by many as a comedic genius and, thinking about it, he really was. Even during the early days when he was appearing on other comedians shows as a bit part actor, he still managed to stand out. If you watch his stand-up you can tell that the majority of jokes are improvised on the spot and he’s throwing them out there at a mile a minute. Also, William’s talents as an actor cannot be understated, many will know him as the voice of the genie from Aladdin (1992) or as the titular character in Mrs Doubtfire (1993), but Williams was versatile enough so that he could do drama. Say what you will about films like The Dead Poets Society (1989) and One Hour Photo (2002) but Williams is definitely the most memorable part in both. Today, we mourn the loss of a wonderful talent, one of the most brilliant comedic forces of the last 50 years, a good father, a loving husband and a caring friend, a man who loved to make people happy. The tragedy here is that a man who spent his entire life making people laugh and fixing their problems with humor, couldn’t make himself happy. His tragic suicide stands not only as a terrible waste but as a reminder that people with such severe depression are very good at hiding it. We here at That Guy That Reviews Stuff over our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Williams family at this dark time.

 

R.I.P Robin Williams

1951-2014

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R.I.P Casey Kasem

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of the man with one of the most recognisable voices in American history. Casey Kasem, voice of Shaggy from the Scooby-Doo (1969-Present) franchise, has died today at the age of 82. While most people in the UK will probably know Kasem from his work as Shaggy, American fans will know him from his radio career which spanned half a century. Kasem was also a passionate vegan and humanitarian, supporting Lebanese-American and Arab-American causes. I will certainly remember Kasem as one of the key voices from one of my favourite childhood TV shows and I will remember seeing how much he enjoyed his work. As always, our thoughts are with Kasem’s family at this difficult time.

R.I.P Casey Kasem

1932-2014

R.I.P Sam Kelly

It saddens me to hear of the death of actor Sam Kelly, who has died today at the age of 70. I, like many people, will remember him from the brilliant Allo ‘Allo (1982-1992) where he played the bumbling Nazi, Captain Hans Geering. His comedic talents were certainly prevelant in Allo ‘Allo but he will also be remembered for sitcoms such as Barbara (1995-2003), On The Up (1990-1992) and the excellent Porridge (1974-1977). Kelly also had guest roles in Midsomer Murders (1997-present) and Inspector Morse (1987-2000). Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

R.I.P Sam Kelly

1943-2014

 

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R.I.P. Rik Mayall

Well, today marks the death of Rik Mayall, British actor, comedian and personal comedic inspiration. His work united millions of people in laughter and he kept going despite his quad bike accident in 1998. He refused to stop being the great actor he was, refusing to stop bring in the laughter, even, sometimes, poking fun at his accident, which was, undoubtedly, a pivotal part in his life.

A man whose roles ranged from historical figures to an anarchist student, from chaotic imaginary friend to genius detective inspector. It’s fair to say he specialised in the over the top characters, but to me, that’s makes his skills even more impressive.

As is always the case, our condolences are with Rik’s family and friends.

Rik Mayall, 1958 – 2014

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