Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Dick Van Patten and James Horner

Some very sad news today...

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Dick Van Patten, star of the ’80s TV series Eight Is Enough and The Love Boat, among many others, passed away early this morning. He was 86.

Van Patten began work as a child actor (at age seven), primarily on the stage in his native New York before segueing to TV, appearing in more than 30 Broadway shows. His first role was in 1935 in Tapestry In Gray which starred Melvyn Douglas. He was billed as ‘Dickie Van Patten.’ He would latter appear in twenty-seven other Broadway plays.

He moved on to television with the role of Nels Hansen in the 1949 TV series I Remember Mama, which ran from 1949 to 1957, but it was his role as patriarch Tom Bradford on Eight Is Enough (1977-1981) for which he is best known. He also had a long-running stint on The Love Boat from 1978-1984. His other TV credits include The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Happy Days, One Day At A Time. His most recent credits include Hot In Cleveland, That ’70s Show and Arrested Development. Van Patten also starred in the TV series When Things Were Rotten and WIOU.

I never missed Eight is Enough and remember him fondly from SO many of his TV and Film roles over the years. He had a very long and memorable career, something that few actors achieve in their lifetime.

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James Horner, who has been scoring movies since 1978, died in a plane crash on June 22nd, 2015. 

His most famous score was likely the megahit Titanic, but he will also be remembered for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Aliens, An American Tail, Apollo 13, Avatar and The Amazing Spider-Man. 

As so many in Hollywood have done, Horner got his start scoring low-budget films for Roger Corman, with 1979’s The Lady in Red being one of his first major film score. In his career he scored over 100 films and nine of his films netted him Oscar nominations — Aliens, An American Tail, Field of Dreams, Braveheart, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, House of Sand and Fog, Avatar, and Titanic. 

Titanic earned him two Oscars: Best Score and Best Original Song for “My Heart Will Go On,” which he wrote with Will Jennings. The hit song was written by the pair in secret since James Cameron didn’t want any song with singing in the film.

James Horner scored so many of my favorite films, especially Star Trek: Wrath of Kahn and, Field of Dreams (one of my favorite soundtracks of all time). An amazingly talented man who made an indelible impact on the emotional core of so many great films over the years.

Both of these very talented men will be greatly missed.

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