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Michael Lennick, Canadian Documentarian, Dies at 61

Documentarian and visual effects supervisor Michael Lennick died Nov. 7 at 61, according to producer and friend Chris Darling.

Lennick directed a number of documentaries focusing on science and astronautics for television, including “Rocket Science” and “Doctor Teller’s Very Large Bomb” for PBS as well as “The Land of Space and Time” and “The Highest Step in the World,” which both received honors at the White Sands and Houston International Film Festivals.

The Toronto native began his career as a special effects specialist, working on films such as David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome,” “The Dead Zone” and “The Fly.” His final project, this year’s “The Scanners Way,” was a documentary to accompany the 25th anniversary edition of Cronenberg’s “Scanners.”

Lennick also co-created, co-wrote and directed “The All Night Show” in 1981 for MTV47 in Toronto. This latenight show offered up a variety of short films, old television shows, and comedic stunts, including dropping random items off the roof of the show’s studio. The show’s influence could be seen the following year when NBC launched “Late Night with David Letterman,” which featured a similar recurring stunt.

Michael’s parents, Ben and Sylvia Lennick, were radio and television personalities. They appeared in many of the Wayne and Shuster sketches on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Sylvia Lennick was one of the co-founders of ACTRA, the Canadian actor’s union.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley Gulliford, a brother and a sister.

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