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Celebrity Deaths

These days, it seems that everything is all about zombies. Okay, maybe not everything, but there is no way zombie fiction would be as popular as it is today were it not for the work of Hollywood legend George A. Romero, who passed away on the 17th of July. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead films helped to launch a genre and changed horror and science fiction forever. Before Romero, zombies weren’t really a thing. Frankenstein’s Monster was pretty much the end-all-be-all of “zombies” until the dead truly began to walk and munch on brains. Now, after Romero’s death, Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead has created a moving tribute.

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As we are now in an age where zombies are a part of the public lexicon with such shows as The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead and movies like Zombieland and countless others, it’s worth nothing that they pretty much wouldn’t exist without George Romero. The famed Canadian-American director gave us Night of the Living Dead way back in 1968, and it was not only ground breaking for introducing the zombie genre, but also made his zombie films talk about various issues hidden within their layers: race relations, consumerism, and militarism. The famed director is responsible for other horror gems like The Crazies, Creepshow, Monkey Shines, and the subsequent zombie sequels: Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead.

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LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 04: Actor Alan Thicke arrives at the 13th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational gala at the ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter on April 4, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational)

This has been a tough year all around for celebrities. We’ve already lost many greats: Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Vanity, George Martin, Frank Sinatra Jr., Garry Shandling, Patty Duke, Merle Haggard, Prince, Muhammed Ali, Anton Yelchin, Kenny Baker, Gene Wilder, and countless others. Yet another sweet soul has just left us: Actor Alan Thicke.

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Ali

Every year can be considered the year of death, but man, 2016 has been particularly brutal. We’ve lost so many legendary actors, performers, and people of influence – Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Abe Vigoda, Prince and many others. Now 2016 has gutted us with another loss. The cold hand of the reaper has taken one of the most famous athletes of all time Muhammad Ali. (more…)

Legendary Actor Peter O’Toole Dies at 81

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Hollywood legend Peter O’Toole (1932-2013) passed away yesterday in a London hospital after an extended illness at the age of 81. While cinephiles knew him best for David Lean‘s masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia, nerddom remembers him for his performance in 1984’s cheesy, yet beloved Supergirl as Zaltar–the drunken artist who nearly single-handedly destroys Supergirl’s floating domed city.  (more…)

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(Article by nerdbastards contributor Mark Poynter, A.K.A Mordrun)

Nobody likes to write these RIP pieces.  Most people don’t even like reading them.  For a writer it’s hard to sum up someone’s life in a few lines, for readers it’s hard to not feel a small part of yourself break inside.  The people pictured above have touched my life without ever being within 100 miles of me.

“Forbidden Planet” was one of the first SciFi movies I watched as a child, although I must say that Robby the Robot made a bigger impression at the time.  It wasn’t until I hit my teens and rewatched the movie when Anne Francis suddenly seemed very interesting.

Grant McCune was the man who made all those fabulous spaceships I wanted to fly.  Even if you could forget those fantastic X-Wings, Star Destroyers, or the Death Star for a moment , think about the opening of the old version of Battlestar Galactica and those fantastic ships.  Makes me tear up even today.

Pete Postlethwaite played one of my favorite villains that I loved to hate.  Suddenly, I seemed to see Pete everywhere.  Every time he showed up it made me smile.  As I sat and watched “The Town” last year, stunned by Ben Affleck’s performance, Pete came on screen and again took it to a new level and stole the scene.

For more please click through to the next page for details on each career and more photos.

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Comic-Book Legend Harvey Pekar Dead At Age 70

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Harvey Pekar was the biggest American icon you may not have heard of. A titan in underground comics of the 70’s and 80’s, Pekar worked with legends like Robert Crumb and turned his unglamorous, blue collar life into a cult series of comic books stories that make him arguably the 2nd most important comic creator of the last 30 years next to Alan Moore. , . Pekar rose to indie cinema prominence with a critically acclaimed adaptation of his “American Splendor” comics in 2003 and fortunately, he leaves us three plus decades of cranky brilliance that will live on forever.

This is indeed a sad day for Cleveland and for all who knew Harvey across the world. Harvey’s brilliant writing, in concert with his circle of equally brilliant illustrators, will truly be missed.

Dennis Hopper Dead at 74

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Sad news in the nerd verse. Legendary actor and director Dennis Hopper died yesterday morning of complication from prostate cancer at the age of 74. Hopper died at his home in Venice, Cali., where he had lived for many years, the Los Angelas Time reported.

Hopper is most known for his starring and directing role in the 1969 film “Easy Rider“, which ushered in a new era for U.S. movie industry, it was a game changer.

Hopper was the type of actor who didn’t let his success define the roles he chose. Though, usually pegged as the bad guy he was a working actor that brought an appreciated level of intensity  to every role. We will remember him as the ex-cop turned mad men in Speed, the smoking outlaw in Waterworld and of course the slicked hair evolved dinosaur in Super Mario Bros.

While Hopper was indentified with the 60’s counter-culture shock he became the most dependable and creepiest villain in cinema. He will be missed.

Feel free to share remembraces in the comments below. Click after the jump for a video of the life and times of Dennis Hopper by film critic Matthew Zoller Seitz (courtesy of slasfilm). It will make you sad. This bastard did so much and did what he did better than anyone else.

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