2021 Year End Review: Part 2 – Those We Have Lost, But Not Forgotten

As a movie fan, the older we get, the more names and faces we lose that have helped entertain us throughout our lives. Whether they are directors, actors, makeup artists, cinematographers, or set designers, they all helped create something magical to entertain us, whether it was scaring us, making us nervous or filled with anxiety, laugh, cry, or even enlightening us, making us want to be better people. For those brief moments of their work, we are forever grateful. Thankfully, most of those memories are permanently recorded and can be experienced time and time again, whenever we want, as well as them being there to do the same thing for newer audiences every single year. While we are bound lose such great talent through the passage of time, as movie fans, we can rest assured that we will help keep their memory, and their work, alive for decades to come.

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William Smith – Rest in Peace

One of Hollywood’s biggest villain’s, William Smith, passed away last Monday at the age of 88. When I say biggest, I mean he was a big man and made even a bigger impression. He is one of these actors that could tower over you, smile at you, and still scare the crap out of you! I had the wonderful opportunity to meet him at the Cinema Wasteland show back in April of 2005, where we fans got to hear some great stories from him.

While I had seen him in previous movies and TV shows, like The Night Stalker episode called The Energy Eater (1974) or one of the many other appearances he made, it was the TV miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man that my parents would watch on a regular basis, where Smith played the character Falconetti, sealing his part as a heavy, one that he did so well. Years later, I would know him from earlier works like Crowhaven Farm (1970), The Thing with Two Heads (1972), or the wonderful underrated Grave of the Vampire (1972). Hell, he even played Frankenstein’s creature in an episode of Fantasy Island in 1981! A year later, he appeared as Conan’s father in Conan the Barbarian (1982).

But like most tough guys on the screen, Smith was a super nice guy and was such a pleasure to meet. You knew if you saw his name in the credits, it was going to be good. As I always like to point out, even though we’ve lost him to this world, we will always have his wonderful performances to remember him by. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.