It was only a matter of time since the new year started that we would lose some familiar faces from the movies and TV shows that we love. I almost hate reporting on stuff like this, but I still think it is important to remember these great talents and for the hours of entertainment that gave us, that continues to live on with each viewing.
Peter Wyngarde had a very interesting life, appearing as a fashionable spy in Department S, then in a spin-off series called Jason King. It was this character that helped inspire Mike Myers’ Austin Powers. He appeared in many stage plays, TV appearances and even his share of movies. But due to some run ins with the law, including an arrest and conviction of a “act of gross indecency” in 1975, that didn’t help much with his career.
But for horror fans, he might have only appeared in two films in the genre, but they are incredible. In Jack Clayton’s The Innocents (1961), he didn’t even have a speaking role as the ghostly Peter Quint, but made quite an impact. Then the following year, he had the lead role in Burn, Witch, Burn (1962), as a college professor whos wife just happens to be a witch! Originally called Night of the Eagle in England, this based on a story by Fritz Leiber, Jr. and really is a must see.
Wyngarde passed away on January 15th, at the reported age of 90 years old.
Bradford Dillman was a very familiar face to someone growing up watching TV in the ’60s & ’70s. In fact, my first memory of him, even though I was too young to remember, was in an episode of Night Gallery, based on a H.P. Lovecraft story, Pickman’s Model. I always remember thinking how cool it would be to have that painting! Dillman would also appear in quite a few other genre TV shows, like The Eyes of Charles Sand (1972), Moon of the Wolf (1972), Demon, Demon (1975), and Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978).
But he also made his mark on quite a few feature films like The Mephisto Waltz (1971), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), Chosen Survivors (1974), Bug (1975), The Swarm (1978), Piranha (1978). It was his starring roles in Bug and Piranha when I started to remember his face and name, discovering all the other great things that he appeared in over the years.
Dillman passed away on January 16th, due to complications from pneumonia.
Our thoughts go out to these talented actors and their friends and family. They will be missed, but never forgotten.