KERWIN MATTHEWS, 81. The heroic swashbuckling American star of Harryhausen classic The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958) and of Jack the Giant Killer (1962). Matthews appeared in a number of other genre titles including The Three Worlds of Gulliver (1960), Battle Beneath the Earth (1967), The Boy who Cried Werewolf (1973) , Octaman (1971), and others. He also appeared in more mainstream fare including The Devil at Four O’Clock (1961), The Last Blitzkrieg (1959), and Man on a String (1960). A World War two Army Air Corps veteran, Matthews died of a heart attack July 5, 2007.
CHANEY KLEY, 34. Star of Darkness Falls (2003). TV appearances included Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Died of undisclosed causes July 24, 2007.
KIERON MOORE, 82. Noted for his role as the alcoholic scientist who discovers how to destroy the man-eating plants in Day of the Triffids (1962). Moore also starred in Dr. Blood’s Coffin (1961) and was the ruffian who mixed it up with young Sean Connery in Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959). One of his more notable mainstream roles was as the traitor in The 300 Spartans (1962) who shows the Persians the shortcut around Thermopylae. He retired in the 1960s after completing 50 films, although he did narrate occasional documentaries thereafter. Moore died July 22, 2007.
MOE DISESSO, 83. Animal trainer whose charges appeared in numerous films, including My Stepmother is An Alien (1988),The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Devil Dog, Hound From Hell (1978), as well as numerous mainstream TV and film projects such as Seinfeld, Will and Grace, John Wayne’s The Conqueror (1956), and so on. His pet raven, Jim, Jr., appeared in 125 productions including the title role in Roger Corman’s The Raven (1963). For Ben (1971), Willard (1972), DiSesso provided 600 trained rats. Wounded in action in the Navy during World War Two, DeSesso received 11 Patsy awards for his animal training skills. Died July 2, 2007, in Newhall, California.
CHARLES LANE, 102. Born January 26, 1905. Prolific and memorable character actor in specializing in skinny, bespectacled, scowling grouches in comedies. Lane also appeared in dramatic roles. In all he had more than 400 film and TV roles, from It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) (and other Frank Capra movies) to The Music Man and appeared in all of Lucille Ball’s TV series, even did a voice for Disney’s Aristocats. Of genre interest, Lane appeared in Mighty Joe Young (1949), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), Tarzan’s New York Adventure (1942), The Gnome-Mobile (1967), and Strange Invaders (1983) as well as TV’s original Twilight Zone, Topper, Dark Shadows, Mork and Mindy, Bewitched, and The Munsters. At times, Lane was reportedly filming two projects simultaneously, running from one set to another. Lane got a good send-off on the evening news shows, unlike many of the older stars who pass on…he was in everything and at age 100 on a TV Land program, he memorably cracked that he was still looking for work. Died July 9, 2007.
WILLIAM TUTTLE, 95. Make-up artist for 100s of movies, whose genre work included The Time Machine (1960), Forbidden Planet (1956), The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962), The Fury (1978) , Young Frankenstein (1974), and The Wizard of Oz (1939) among many others, not the least of which was The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao (1964) for which he received an honorary Oscar. First movie was Mark of the Vampire (1935). Died July 27, 2007.
MAX DOUY, 94. Production designer, art director, and set decorator who worked on more than 200 movies, including Moonraker (1979) and science fiction’s Malevil (1981). Died July 2, 2007.
JERRY ITO, 79. Japanese actor. Mothra (1961) villain, The Manster (1962) hero, also in Message From Space (1978) and other productions. Of pneumonia July 7, 2007 in Los Angeles.
FRANK MAHER, 78. British stunt man and actor. Doubled for Patrick McGoohan on “Danger Man” (AKA in US: “Secret Agent” with Johnny Rivers theme Secret Agent Man) and The Prisoner. Also doubled for Roger Moore on The Saint. Also appeared in Dr. Who and Blake’s 7. Later began writing adventure novels. Of emphysema. Of emphysema July 13, 2007.
LASZLO KOVACS, 74. Cinematographer. Kovacs graduated from an apprenticeship with low-budget movies like Ray Dennis Steckler’s The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies (1964) and Time Travelers (1964) with the filming of Easy Rider (1969) into A-list movies including welcome genre lapses Ghostbusters (1984) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Died in his sleep July 21, 2007.
Also of note:
MICHEL SERRAULT, 79. French actor who starred in the original La Cage aux Folles (1978). July 29, 2007 after a long illness.
ELEANOR STEWART, 94.Actress in more than 40 movies, mostly B-Westerns to include three Hopalong Cassiday features. July 4, 2007 of Alzheimer’s Disease.