JANET WALDO, VOICE OF JUDY JETSON
June 13, 2016 @ 2:18 PM
Janet Waldo has died at the age of 96, ABC News reports. The actress was best known for voicing Judy Jetson on the animated series The Jetsons.
Waldo’s daughter Lucy Lee confirmed that the star passed away on Sunday, June 12. Waldo was diagnosed with a benign tumor five years ago that could not be operated on.
The Yakima, Washington, native made her acting debut in the romantic comedy Cocoanut Grove at the age of 18 in 1938. She later voiced Judy on the beloved series The Jetsons from 1962 to 1987 and reprised her role in 1990’s Jetsons: The Movie.
Waldo has more than 100 TV and movie credits to her name. She’s also been featured in shows such as The Flintstones, The Dukes, Alvin & the Chipmunks, The Smurfs, Jeannie, Yogi’s Space Race and Battle of the Planets. She last voiced the character Penelope Pitstop in the video game Wacky Races in 2000.
Waldo opened up about working on The Jetsons during an interview with MovieWeb in February. “The writers were fantastic because they had such great imagination and they had us all imagining what it would be like in the future, living on the moon, and all of these fun things. We had all these gadgets which were totally intriguing, like the hairstyle gadget, where you would press a button and it would change your hairstyle,” she said.
“I think The Jetsons‘ influence has been so tremendous on young people who have let their imaginations go and have become intrigued with inventing new things. There’s always something new and every time it happens I think, Hey, we did that on The Jetsons,” she continued. “I think that is the true appeal of The Jetsons, the technology. It intrigued so many people. I hope that flying car really happens.”
Waldo is survived by two children, Lee and Jonathan Barlow Lee. Her husband, actor Robert E. Lee, died at the age of 75 in 1994.
LOIS DUNCAN, AUTHOR OF “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER”
Posted June 16 2016 — 8:26 PM EDT
(Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Teen suspense author Lois Duncan died Wednesday at her home in Florida, according to her husband Don Arquette, who posted the news on her Facebook page. She was 82.
Long before Stephenie Meyer or John Green were dominating the YA literary world, Duncan made a name for herself in the genre with her suspense novels. Born in Philadelphia on April 28, 1934, Duncan went on to publish more than 50 children’s and young adult books, including Hotel for Dogs and I Know What You Did Last Summer, which were both adapted into films.
The author’s writing career went in a different direction after the shooting death of her 18-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, in 1989. Kaitlyn’s case remains unsolved, leading Duncan to launch her own decades-long inquiry into the incident which she chronicled in two books, including her last, One to the Wolves, in 2013.
In 1992, while discussing her book Who Killed My Daughter?, Duncan talked to Larry King about why she couldn’t accept the police’s explanation that her daughter’s death was the result of a random shooting. “It’s going to prove that Kait was worth the truth,” she said.
That same year Duncan won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.
ANTON YELCHIN, ‘STAR TREK’ ACTOR
Richard Shotwell/Invision/APmore +
Anton Yelchin, a rising actor best known for playing Chekov in the new “Star Trek” films, was killed by his own car as it rolled down his driveway early Sunday, police and his publicist said.
The car pinned Yelchin, 27, against a brick mailbox pillar and a security fence at his home in Los Angeles, Officer Jenny Hosier said. He had gotten out of the vehicle momentarily, but police did not say why he was behind it when it started rolling.
Yelchin was on his way to meet friends for a rehearsal, Hosier said. When he didn’t show up, the group came to his home and found him dead.
The freak accident tragically cuts short the promising career of an actor whom audiences were still getting to know and who had great artistic ambition. “Star Trek Beyond,” the third film in the rebooted series, comes out in July.
Director J.J. Abrams, who cast Yelchin in the franchise, wrote in a statement that he was “brilliant … kind … funny as hell, and supremely talented.”
His death was felt throughout the industry.
“He was a ferocious movie buff who put us all to shame,” said Gabe Klinger, who directed Yelchin in the upcoming film “Porto,” likely to be released this fall. “He was watching four or five movies every night — silent movies.”
Yelchin began acting as a child, taking small roles in independent films and various television shows, such as “ER,” ”The Practice,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” His breakout big-screen role came opposite Anthony Hopkins in 2001’s “Hearts in Atlantis.”
He transitioned into teen roles in films such as the crime thriller “Alpha Dog” and the comedy “Charlie Bartlett.” He also played a young Kyle Reese in 2009’s “Terminator Salvation.”
Yelchin, an only child, was born in Russia. His parents were professional figure skaters who moved the family to the United States when Yelchin was a baby. He briefly flirted with skating lessons, too, before discovering that he wasn’t very skilled on the ice. That led him to acting class.
“I loved the improvisation part of it the most, because it was a lot like just playing around with stuff. There was something about it that I just felt completely comfortable doing and happy doing,” Yelchin told The Associated Press in 2011 while promoting the romantic drama “Like Crazy.” He starred opposite Felicity Jones.
“(My father) still wanted me to apply to college and stuff, and I did,” Yelchin said. “But this is what I wanted.”
The discipline that Yelchin learned from his athlete parents translated into his work as an actor, which he treated with seriousness and professionalism, said Klinger, the director.
He drew on his Russian roots for his role as the heavily accented navigator Chekov in the “Star Trek” films, his most high-profile to date.
“What’s great about him is he can do anything. He’s a chameleon. He can do bigger movies or smaller, more intimate ones,” ”Like Crazy” director Drake Doremus told the AP in 2011. “There are a lot of people who can’t, who can only do one or the other. … That’s what blows my mind.”
Yelchin seemed to fit in anywhere in Hollywood. He could do big sci-fi franchises and vocal work in “The Smurfs,” while also appearing in more eccentric and artier fare, like Jim Jarmusch’s vampire film “Only Lovers Left Alive” and Jeremy Saulnier’s horror thriller “Green Room,” a cult favorite that came out earlier this year.
Klinger recalled a conversation with Jarmusch about Yelchin before Klinger cast him in “Porto.”
“Jim was like, ‘Watch out. Anton read Dostoyevsky when he was like 11 years old!'” Klinger said.
The director said that for Yelchin, every film was an opportunity to learn and study more. He admired Nicolas Cage’s laser-focus on the Paul Schrader film “Dying of the Light” and also got to work with one of his acting heroes, Willem Dafoe, on the film “Odd Thomas.”
“He used to refer to Willem as an artist, not an actor,” Klinger said. “That’s the kind of actor he aspired to be, where people didn’t regard him as an actor, they regarded him as an artist.”
Not Forgotten: The Surprisingly Quiet Ella Fitzgerald
A listener would not have realized it hearing her crooning, belting or scatting, but Ella Fitzgerald was a quiet person in private.
Not Forgotten: Wernher von Braun, Rocket Pioneer With a Dark Past
Wernher von Braun played a key role in Hitler’s rocket program before turning to space exploration.