Christmas time is meant to be a cheerful, happy family affair sadly today we mourn the loss of 3 popular figures withing film and television, Jack Klugman, Charles Durning and Jerry Anderson.
Jack Klugman American actor who forged an equally strong tv and Film career will always be known to myself for his iconic role of Quincy M.E an crime solving medical examiner. The show ran from 1976 until 1983 winning numerous television awards including several Emmys, it was also the same decade Klugman played Oscar Madison a role another award winning performance in Walter Matthau’s The Odd Couple. However he did embark in starring in several big film most notably Sidney Lumet’s iconic 1957 film 12 Angry Men where he played Juror #5 alongside Henry Fonda a juror trying to convince his fellow 11 peers to change their verdict. This brilliant courtroom drama actually never took place in the court but the jury’s deliberation room.
Mr Klugman was 90 years old and passed away on 24th December he leaves behind his wife Peggy, 2 sons Adam, David along with 2 grandchildren.
2 time Oscar nominee Charles Durning whose career spanned over a 50 year spell also died on 24th December aged 89 years. His career spanning over 100 television appearances but also 100+ films including Dog Day Afternoon, Tootsie, The Sting but it was 2 of his least popular films The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and To Be Or Not To Be,earning him best supporting actor nominations at the Oscars. His career wasn’t all plain sailing as World War 2 delayed the progression when he enlisted joining the U.S Army winning Silver Star and three Purple Hearts fighting on Omaha Beach on D-Dally as well as been a POW whilst fighting in Battle of The Bulge.
The one piece of news which may effect more people is the death of Gerry Anderson the creator of some of the most iconic kids puppet television shows with Thunderbirds been the most famous not just here in UK but worldwide. He also created Joe 90, Captain Scarlett And The Mysterions and Stingray.
His son Jamie Anderson announced the sad news via his website saying his father died peacefully today around midday aged 83. His father was diagnosed in 2010 suffering from a extreme form of dementia and in the last six month’s his fathers condition worsened drastically.
Mr Anderson started work as a plasterer but due to suffering from demerits he had to give it up moving photographic portrait work before moving into several jobs including Air traffic Control. However with some friends he set up AP Films which had very few commissions with the first one with any success coming in 1956 with the The Adventures of Twizzle. It was 8 years later when Thunderbirds the series that made him his name would be born one he would create with his wife Sylvia, a series based around International Rescue, a futuristic emergency service manned by the Tracy family with the help from Lady Penelope (voiced by his wife) and her butler Parker (voiced by Gerry himself).
Gerry Anderson went on to have success with Fireball XL5, Space 1999 and Terrahawks.