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Hazel

Rest in Peace

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Sad news today from imdb.com -

 

Brad Renfro Dead at 25

Troubled movie star Brad Renfro has died, according to U.S. reports. The 25-year-old actor was found dead at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, according to Tmz.com. The cause of death has not been determined, however, Renfro has a history of drug abuse. The Client star had been working to stay clean and sober after a string of drug offenses, including attempted heroin possession. Renfro was accused of violating his probation after failing to enroll in a drug treatment program, following his conviction for attempted possession of heroin last summer. A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge and LA Deputy District Attorney warned the actor that if he failed to enroll in a 18-month to three-year outpatient program he would be jailed. This was the second time Renfro had violated his probation. Renfro pleaded guilty to the charge of attempted possession in February 2006 after he was caught in a police sting in December 2005. At one point, Renfro was considered among the hottest celebrities in Hollywood; he was named The Hollywood Reporter's Young Star and one of People magazine's Top 30 Under 30 in the mid 1990s. Ironically, he was inspired to become an actor after starring in a school production sponsored by drug organization DARE, aimed at teaching kids about the dangers of drugs, according to imdb.com. He first found himself in trouble with the law for his drug habit in 1998 after he was arrested in his native Tennessee, when police pulled him over and allegedly found cocaine and marijuana in his pants and socks. Despite his troubled personal life, Renfro starred in a number of cult films; as well as The Client, he also appeared in Ghost World, Apt Pupil and The Jacket. He was reportedly still filming an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' The Informers with Winona Ryder when he died.

 

 

A fan of The Client and especially Sleepers, I watched with interest as this talented young man blossomed into an excellent actor, and this news today is very sad indeed.

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I just heard this on the radio and am completely shocked. I was at my local film quiz last night and we were discussing his performance in I'm Not There, then this morning I hear about his death. It is very sad.

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It is very sad.

Yeah, yeah. So are all the other deaths around the world, notably in the Middle East and Kenya of late. What makes this any more important? A big Vonnegut-style so it goes from me and move on.

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Yes it is sad. A 2-year old girl has lost her Father.

Yes, she has. Many two year olds have lost their father: to disease, to war, to murder. Essentially through no fault of their own. It would appear Ledger has killed himself. Sure, thoughts can be with the daughter, but it's no more important than anyone else, just because he's a public figure.

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Yes, she has. Many two year olds have lost their father: to disease, to war, to murder. Essentially through no fault of their own. It would appear Ledger has killed himself. Sure, thoughts can be with the daughter, but it's no more important than anyone else, just because he's a public figure.

Threads merged.

 

I don't think the cause of death has been established yet, best not to jump to obvious conclusions. I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt.

 

Not a public enough figure for me to have heard of him. My fault, of course.

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I never placed more importance upon his death just because he's a public figure. My opinion is that a young father dying is a tragic thing, famous or not.

 

I think it shocked me because we were discussing him in so much depth last night.

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...best not to jump to obvious conclusions.
Hence 'it would appear' ;)

 

I'll agree. Not much a public figure for me. What I did find funny was that on another forum the question was not so much, how did he die? but will the new Batman movie still be released?

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I think it perhaps affects people more because you are aware of him, he came across in interviews etc as a nice guy.

 

People in Africa etc are completely faceless, anonymous statistics really which is why it doesn't have such an affect on people.

 

Was it Stalin who said something like “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” I think something similar applies.

 

If you actually think about it of course there are far more tragic events than the death of one young man.

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Of course we all move on from virtually any death, but what gives you the right to sneer at other people's reactions and emotions?

 

Intellectualise it all you wish, and putting it in the context of all other deaths around the world yesterday, it means very little, but the fact that we have watched this guy on TV / Cinema means that his persona entered our consciousness and stayed there. Therefore his passing touches us more than any other death of people unknown to us.

 

That's just a part of being a normal human being Stewart.

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Well, I for one am very shocked and saddened by his death. Yes, he is a film star and many light years removed from me, but I admired him greatly as an actor and what is sad for me, is that we have been robbed of many great performances he was yet to give. The film world has been robbed of a great and gifted actor - not a pretender to the throne. A sad day indeed. The loss of genuine talent in any field is always sad.

 

It's been a sad week for young actors, Brad Renfro and now Heath Ledger.

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It's a sad loss indeed, regardless of whether it was a deliberate suicide attempt or an accidental overdose.

 

As Hazel says, this was an actor who seemed at the beginning of a distinguished career and had already turned in some fine performances.

 

Although I haven't seen "Brokeback Mountain", which earned him his Oscar nomination, the two that will stick with me are his take on Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There", which I saw only a few weeks ago and his turn as half of a drug addicted couple in the Australian film "Candy", which deserved much wider distribution in the UK than it got.

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Well, I think he will be sadly missed. He was a talented actor who had most of his career in front of him. RIP.

 

And no I don't think his death is any more significant than thousands of others who die every day, but because he was such a good actor who always came across as warm and full of life I felt that I knew him just a little, so that makes it a little more personal than the thousands of faceless people who I don't know at all.

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Of course we all move on from virtually any death, but what gives you the right to sneer at other people's reactions and emotions?
Well said. The "yeah yeah" cynicism voiced in post #3 (and the clumsy subsequent attempt at justyifying it) is misplaced and hurtful - to many people, at any rate, if not to absolutely everybody. I should have hoped it wasn't too difficult to understand that distress (of varying degrees) in these circumstances is
just a part of being a normal human being

Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian has shown rather more sensitivity...

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I am still a little shocked by it. The news last night even brought a tear to my eye. I was really looking forward to seeing The Dark Knight, yes, because the last Nolan outing was so bloody good, but mainly my excitement was caught up in the sinister Joker that Ledger appeared to create so well. As Bradshaw says "his death will cast a terrible, ironic cloud over that film." It really will be a bittersweet experience.

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I was also very saddened by this news. He was a talented young man and would surely have turned in some deeply impressive performances in years to come. He had a great deal to offer and didn't seem to have been turned by the Hollywood machine into a great ego.

 

A sad loss.

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I agree with those of you who are sad about Heath Ledger's death. It is indeed a sad loss. Even if he did take his own life, we don't know what led him to it. I wouldn't want to exchange my life with any of those famous people who never have some privacy.

Of course, a lot of people die senseless deaths and a lot of children have lost their parents etc.

However, famous actors (and I count him as one) are so familiar to us that they somehow belong if not to "the family" then at least to the circle of friends.

He still could have made a lot of great movies. I have enjoyed the ones he did.

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David, this may be of interest to you -

 

Filmmaker Terry Gilliam is determined to "salvage" the movie Heath Ledger was midway through making when he died last Tuesday. The veteran director and Ledger were filming scenes for The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus in London just days before the actor was found dead in his New York apartment. And despite the sudden tragedy, co-star Christopher Plummer claims a "terribly saddened" Gilliam is doing all he can to finish the film. Plummer says, "Terry's throwing himself into the job of trying to salvage the picture. (He's) trying to work out, at this moment, how to continue on. Fortunately, because the film deals with magic, there is a way, perhaps, of turning Heath into other people and then, using stills and I think they call it CGI. Terry was a very good friend of Heath's. He very much wants to go on with the movie, and I can very much understand why. Because he wants to dedicate it to Heath, of course." Last week, Plummer revealed he suspects shooing The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus at night in London's cold, damp climate could have contributed to Ledger's death. An autopsy failed to reveal how the actor died, although police believe his death could be drug-related as five different bottles of prescription drugs were found around his apartment.

 

From imdb.com 29th Jan 2008

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It made me very sad also. He was one of the ones I would have expected to be one of the great actors of my generation and I will miss those performances. What he did in Brokeback Mountain was just a taste of where he would have gone.

 

I think it also shocked me because we watched 10 Things I Hate About You a few days before his death, as well as The Brothers Grimm, so he'd sort of been on m mind. And, he was the same age as I am, which is scary.

 

I think it was an accident, but I suppose time will tell.

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I think it also shocked me because we watched 10 Things I Hate About You a few days before his death, as well as The Brothers Grimm, so he'd sort of been on m mind.

Weirdly enough, I remarked to David that I had just re-watched Monster's Ball a couple of days before the news. Christopher Nolan's tribute to him is very moving, I'll try and find it.

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Found it -

 

Director Christopher Nolan remembers Heath Ledger

 

Best known for his haunting, Oscar-nominated performance as Ennis Del Mar, one of the gay cowboys in 2005 ' s "Brokeback Mountain," Ledger was a massive young talent on the cusp of greatness when he died last week in New York. The native Australian, who is survived by his 2-year-old daughter, Matilda, had recently finished work on this summer's "Batman"sequel, "The Dark Knight," in which he plays a villain, the Joker. Christopher Nolan, the film's director, shared these memories: One night, as I'm standing on LaSalle Street in Chicago, trying to line up a shot for "The Dark Knight," a production assistant skateboards into my line of sight. Silently, I curse the moment that Heath first skated onto our set in full character makeup. I'd fretted about the reaction of Batman fans to a skateboarding Joker, but the actual result was a proliferation of skateboards among the younger crew members. If you'd asked those kids why they had chosen to bring their boards to work, they would have answered honestly that they didn't know. That's real charisma—as invisible and natural as gravity. That's what Heath had.

 

Heath was bursting with creativity. It was in his every gesture. He once told me that he liked to wait between jobs until he was creatively hungry. Until he needed it again. He brought that attitude to our set every day. There aren't many actors who can make you feel ashamed of how often you complain about doing the best job in the world. Heath was one of them.

 

<!--AD BEGIN--><!--AD END--> One time he and another actor were shooting a complex scene. We had two days to shoot it, and at the end of the first day, they'd really found something and Heath was worried that he might not have it if we stopped. He wanted to carry on and finish. It's tough to ask the crew to work late when we all know there's plenty of time to finish the next day. But everyone seemed to understand that Heath had something special and that we had to capture it before it disappeared. Months later, I learned that as Heath left the set that night, he quietly thanked each crew member for working late. Quietly. Not trying to make a point, just grateful for the chance to create that they'd given him.

 

Those nights on the streets of Chicago were filled with stunts. These can be boring times for an actor, but Heath was fascinated, eagerly accepting our invitation to ride in the camera car as we chased vehicles through movie traffic—not just for the thrill ride, but to be a part of it. Of everything. He'd brought his laptop along in the car, and we had a high-speed screening of two of his works-in-progress: short films he'd made that were exciting and haunting. Their exuberance made me feel jaded and leaden. I've never felt as old as I did watching Heath explore his talents. That night I made him an offer—knowing he wouldn't take me up on it—that he should feel free to come by the set when he had a night off so he could see what we were up to.

 

When you get into the edit suite after shooting a movie, you feel a responsibility to an actor who has trusted you, and Heath gave us everything. As we started my cut, I would wonder about each take we chose, each trim we made. I would visualize the screening where we'd have to show him the finished film—sitting three or four rows behind him, watching the movements of his head for clues to what he was thinking about what we'd done with all that he'd given us. Now that screening will never be real. I see him every day in my edit suite. I study his face, his voice. And I miss him terribly.

 

Back on LaSalle Street, I turn to my assistant director and I tell him to clear the skateboarding kid out of my line of sight when I realize—it's Heath, woolly hat pulled low over his eyes, here on his night off to take me up on my offer. I can't help but smile.

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David, this may be of interest to you -

I somehow missed this yesterday. Thanks for that, Hazel - very interesting.

 

I'm a big fan of Gilliam's and whilst obviously the greatest tragedy here is Ledger's passing, I had been struck by the terrible misfortunes experienced by Gilliam in his film career. If you haven't seen Lost In La Mancha, the docu-pic about his aborted film of Don Quixote, you should.

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...Roy Scheider...

 

from imdb.com -

 

Actor Roy Scheider, a two-time Oscar nominee best known for his leading role as the water-phobic police chief in the smash blockbuster Jaws, died Sunday in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences hospital; he was 75. Though an official cause of death was not released at press time, a hospital spokeswoman stated that the actor had been treated for multiple myeloma at the hospital's research center for the past two years. Born in New Jersey, Scheider pursued a career in boxing before turning to acting, and won an Obie award for his work with the New York Shakespeare Festival in the late '60s. His first major film appearances also began in the late '60s in such movies as Star! and Paper Lion, and it was in 1971 that he truly gained fame for his roles two popular thrillers, Klute and The French Connection; the latter earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. However, it was his role four years later in the Steven Spielberg thriller Jaws for which he became most well-known, playing a local lawman in a tourist beach town who must contend with the sudden appearance of a great white shark; his line, "You're gonna need a bigger boat," became one of the most well-known lines in contemporary film. Scheider also appeared in the ill-fated sequel Jaws 2 (after dropping out of the lead role in The Deer Hunter and in order to be let out of his <c>Universal</c> Studios contract) and the thriller Marathon Man before embarking on his most acclaimed performance, that of Broadway director and choreographer Joe Gideon in Bob Fosse's All That Jazz. The role, closely based on Fosse's life, brought Scheider his second Academy Award nomination in 1979, this time for Best Actor. Though none of Scheider's later films would reach the heights of his movies from the '70s, he continued to work steadily in both film and television, with diverse roles in such films as Still Of The Night, Blue Thunder, 2010, The Russia House, Naked Lunch, The Peacekeeper, The Myth Of Fingerprints (for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination) and the TV series SeaQuest DSV and Third Watch. Scheider is survived by his three children and his second wife, actress Brenda King.
Who will ever forget Brodie in Jaws?

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