You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Departed artists left their mark on the biz

Below-the-Line Impact Report 2012

Above-the-line obituaries tend to generate big headlines and major retrospective packages in the media, but the untimely loss of a below-the-line worker usually receives far less attention.

Sally Menke’s death at 56 was not one of those that went unnoticed. The disappearance of Quentin Tarantino’s longtime editor (she worked on every Tarantino film since “Reservoir Dogs”) during a Los Angeles heat wave in September, 2010, got nationwide publicity.

She had gone hiking in Griffith Park; her body was found in a ravine with her dog nearby. A lover of the outdoors, she learned she had landed the “Reservoir” job while hiking in Canada. At the time, Blighty’s Guardian newspaper quoted her as saying, “I let out a yell that echoed around the mountain.”

Natural causes claimed cinematographer Ric Waite in February. Despite being 78 he was far from retirement. Rather, the former Air Force vet-turned-photographer was prepping 2013’s “Legacy” when he died. Photography led to a career in film, plus three Emmy noms for his TV work. He segued into features with “Footloose” and “Red Dawn.” On his final blog post, one month before his death, he reminisced about shooting “Red Dawn” in minus-39-degree temperatures: “Now that’s tough filmmaking.”

D.p. Denny Hall died while his career was in full swing. The 54-year-old suffered a heart attack in his hotel in New Orleans in October. Hall got his start as a camera operator and became known for his work on shows including “Magnum, P.I.” He was working on USA’s “Common Law” at the time.

The Big Easy is also where Tarantino shot some of the upcoming “Django Unchained.” Veteran production designer J. Michael Riva was preparing to work on-set there when he suffered a stroke in June and died a week later.

Riva, 63, had four decades of experience, an Oscar nom for “The Color Purple,” and worked on films including “The Goonies” and “Iron Man.”

He came by his Hollywood stripes naturally: his grandmother was Marlene Deitrich, his mother a stage actress and his father a Broadway set designer.

“Design has been an extraordinary gift for me,” he said at 2009’s 5D Conference.

More Scene

  • Adam Driver appears at the curtain

    Adam Driver on Starring in 'Burn This' for a Second Time

    The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]

  • PMC Event Rome

    Film, Fashion, Formula E Mix at Rome E-Prix Bash

    Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.  Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]

  • Katy Perry, Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna

    Katy Perry and Anita Hill Honored at the DVF Awards

    Katy Perry was among the honorees at the 10th Annual DVF Awards on Thursday night. The singer was recognized for her advocacy work with both UNICEF and the LGBTQ community. “Music has opened the doors for so many opportunities for me,” she said while accepting the inspiration award. “The ability to meet people and champion [...]

  • Chrissy Metz'Breakthrough' Film Premiere, Arrivals, Regency

    Why 'This Is Us' Star Chrissy Metz Could End Up Performing at the Next Oscars

    Chrissy Metz made her live-singing debut on Sunday when she performed “I’m Standing With You” from her new movie “Breakthrough.” Was that just a step on her way to performing at the Oscars? Could be. The song was written by 10-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren. “They said Chrissy had to sing it and I was [...]

  • Bob IgerSimon Weisenthal Gala honoring Bob

    Disney's Bob Iger Blasts Hateful Political Discourse and Social Media: 'We Can Do Better'

    Bob Iger didn’t mince words while being honored Thursday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Upon receiving the Humanitarian Award at the organization’s National Tribute Dinner from Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO delivered a scathing critique of social media and the current state of political discourse. “Hate and anger are dragging us [...]

  • David Harbour'Hellboy' special film screening, Arrivals,

    Why David Harbour Just Compared 'Hellboy' to 'Hamlet'

    David Harbour understands if movie-goers don’t realize he’s the star of the new “Hellboy.” “I was kind of stunned. It’s quite a transformation. I didn’t even recognize myself,” the “Stranger Things” star recalls about seeing himself for the first time as the half-demon superhero. “And as the process went on I started to actually fetishize [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content