r.i.p sir

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Kalabhavan Mani (1 January 1971 – 6 March 2016)

I wonder why it hurts so much to see actors, people that most of us don’t know beyond what we see on screen, pass away. Is it because we’ve always loved them, but tend to forget about them if they don’t pop up in the media every so often? (There’s a voice in the back of my head that keeps asking this question- did they know how much we loved them, did we love them enough, did we appreciate them enough, did we…). Does it hurt because at some point in time they made us smile or cry or entertained us in some form or the other? And, for those moments, they helped us forget our own problems and in turn, forget that they- these people whose job it is to entertain us, who play such vibrant, immortal characters on-screen- are just as mortal as we are. Maybe, we’ll forget about them after a while and it will stop hurting. Maybe.

So Kalabhavan Mani is no more. The lower-caste auto driver from Chalakkudy who went on to become one of the most loved comic actors in the 90s and early 2000s, an incredibly capable character actor, a National Award winner, the man that amused us with his unique voice and ‘naadan paatukal’, the man that made us laugh with his even more unique laugh (ngeehaahaha), a man with family and friends and people who cared about him. Is no more. Is. No. More. 

What will it be like watching Summer in Bethlehem again? Or Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum. Or Ayalum Nyanum Thammil. Or Gemini. Or Vel. (or, or, or). What will it be like watching all the other actors that entertain us today, who have in some way been influenced by this man (and he has indeed influenced many). Maybe we will forget some day and it will just be a haze in all the other actors that come and go on our screens, desperately trying to entertain us. Maybe.  

But now it hurts. And it will keep hurting for a while.  And the void that has been left in our industry (yet again) can never be filled. And hearing his wonderful voice/laugh will upset us. (and, and, and). All we can do now is pray for his family, for his friends, for the industry. And for us, to be happy with his memories.

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The late Gene Wilder in The Little Prince (1974). 

The Fox was always my favorite character from the book, and seeing Gene Wilder play him in the movie made me like the character even more. I saw this around the same time I saw him as Willy Wonka for the first time, back when my parents rented VHS movies of children’s books from Blockbuster for me to watch once I was done reading the books. Haven’t been able to find any gifsets featuring this role of his, so I just figured I’d share the scene. 

R.I.P. Gene Wilder, and thanks for the characters from my childhood you brought to life. 

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Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee (27 May 1922 – 7 June 2015)

  • Served in World War II as part of the Royal Air Force and British Intelligence Agency from 1941 until his retirement in 1946.
  • Was appointed a Commander of the Venerable Order of Saint John in 1997, and appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2001.  He was also made a Knight Bachelor in 2009.
  • Was a descendent of Italian nobility through his great-grandfather, and his godfather was Prince Alexander of Battenberg.
  • Shared the same birthday as another horror veteran: Vincent Price.  Fellow Hammer horror star Peter Cushing’s birthday fell on the 26th.  While often pitted against each other on film, Cushing and Lee were inseparable friends in real life.
  • In his long, distinguished acting career, he played numerous famous characters, including Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein’s monster, Fu Manchu, Dracula, and the Mummy.
  • Best known for portraying a myriad of cinematic villains, which was very much aided by his distinctive, commanding voice, and his considerable height of 6′5″.  At one point, he was even entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as “The Tallest Leading Actor”.
  • He was the original choice to play the character of Dr. Loomis in John Carpenter’s classic Halloween (1978), but turned the role down.  He later admitted to regretting this decision.
  • In the animated film The Last Unicorn (1982), Lee not only provided the English voice for the character of King Haggard, but also provided the German voice without additional pay, simply because of how much he loved the story.  Lee could also speak French, Italian, and Spanish, and minimal Greek, Russian, and Swedish.
  • As a singer, he released four heavy metal albums from 1998 to 2013.
  • His acting career spanned nearly 70 years over a record-breaking 281 films, with his final film due to be released in 2016.
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R.I.P. Sir Christopher Lee.

An amazingly talented actor, heavy metal musician and nazi hunter.
I honestly don’t know what else to say other than my soul is crushed and that you and your uniquely powerful voice will be missed by many.

Rest In Peace.

In late 1938, Sir Nicholas Winton visited Prague shortly after it had been annexed to Nazi Germany. Once there, he decided to help, as best he could, the thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution. With only three weeks to organize his rescue operation, he managed to save 669 Jewish children and find them homes in Britain. This singularly great act only came to the public’s attention 50 years later, in 1988, when his wife discovered an old briefcase in the attic with lists of children’s names and letters from their parents. Sir Nicholas was knighted in 2002 for services to humanity. Of his part in the Kindertransport, the humble Sir Nicholas once remarked, “I wasn’t heroic because I was never in danger.”

May flights of angels sing the to thy rest.