Obituary

Vale – Joe Mantell, Gloria Stuart & Sally Menke

While we’ve been away, it seems some sad news had continued to come out of Hollywood. We’ve already covered the news of Tony Curtis, but we also thought we’d tip the hat in the direction of several Hollywood icons: actor Joe Mantell, actress Gloria Stuart, and film editor Sally Menke.

Joe Mantell - 1915-2010

Joe Mantell was an Oscar Nominated actor who appeared in a number of films between the early 50’s and the late 70’s, as well as a few films in the 80’s. His Oscar nod came for his supporting actor work in the 1955 Best Picture Oscar winner Marty, for which co-star Ernest Borgnine won an Oscar for Best Actor. He also appeared in 1974’s Chinatown (with Jack Nicholson), as well as numerous TV shows including Maude, The Virginian, Mission: Impossible, The Untouchables, and Dr Kildare.

Joe Mantell died on September 29, aged 94.

Gloria Stuart - 1910-2010

Gloria Stuart is, to modern audiences, best known as the elderly Rose DeWitt Bukater in James Cameron’s Titanic, for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She was, however, an accomplished screen performer well before Cameron got his claws into her. Her most prominent role, prior to sinking boats, was in Claude Rains’ film version of The Invisible Man, as the leading lady. Among her other films, she appeared in Roman Scandals, The Lady Escapes, Prisoner Of Shark Island, The Three Musketeers (1939), and The Whistler in 1944. After a prolonged period of screen inactivity, Stuart returned in the 80’s to appear in My Favourite Years and Widcats, before her resurgence into the mainstream with Titanic. Her final film appearances include The Love Letter, The Million Dollar Hotel, and finally The Land of Plenty. Among her TV appearances, most of which were cameos or single episode guest roles, she popped up in Murder She Wrote, The Waltons, The Invisible Man, and Miracles; Stuart also had a recurring role in the daytime soap General Hospital between 2002-2003.

Gloria Stuart passed away on September 26th, in her sleep, aged 100.

Sally Menke - 1953-2010

The relatively young Sally Menke is best known for her editing work on the films of Quentin Tarantino, most recently Inglourious Basterds. She also cut films such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for director Steve Barron, and Heaven & Earth for Oliver Stone. Menke was nominated for an Oscar for her work on Pulp Fiction, as well as Inglourious Basterds. Menke was married to Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot.

Sally Menke passed away whilst hiking in a Los Angeles park, on September 26th, due to apparent heat exhaustion. She was 56.

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1 COMMENTS

  1. Rest in peace Joe and Gloria. All I can say is I'm happy they appear to have lived very long lives with some notable moments in cinema history. I'll always remember Mrs. Stuart in Titanic, I suppose the most recent of her work though in all honesty it wasn't a big role and she was far superior earlier in her career (Gold Diggers, Million Dollar Hotel, etc) — it was nice to see the Academy and others honor her long career with accolades and awards for Titanic. I can't say much about actor Joe Mantell — though he appeared in quite a few big films including China Town and the Two Jakes.

    The biggest surprise and perhaps the most troubling was the loss of Sally Menke (most known in my circles for her work with Tarrantino) and the peculiar nature of her death. I must say when I heard the news my immediate response was, who was this 'friend' who decided a fifty plus year old woman was OK alone walking about the Hollywood hills on a markedly HOT day? I haven't followed the news after so i can't comment there, but she was hardly 50 and for such a loss – I'm sure she would have continued her very notable career.

    Peace one and all.

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Never blessed with a body worthy of a porn star, nor being the heir to a wealthy industrialists fortune, nor suffering the tragedy of having his parents murdered outside a Gotham theater, Rodney is, contrary to popular opinion, neither Ron Jeremy, JD Rockefeller, or Batman. As a serious appreciator of film since 1996, Rodney's love affair with the medium has continued with his online blog, Fernby Films, a facility allowing him to communicate with fellow cineasts in their mutual love of all things movie.

Vale – Joe Mantell, Gloria Stuart & Sally Menke

by Rodney Twelftree
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