A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP–Leonard Nimoy
When a larger-than-life personality dies, a chain reaction is triggered. Iconic rocker David Bowie’s passing made international headlines. His parting sparked numerous memorials and tributes around the world; however, every year extremely talented celebrities pass away with very little fanfare. A Crow’s View would like to recognize four of those people over the last few years.
Geoffrey Lewis (79) passed away April 7, 2015. If you’ve watched anything from the 70s, 80s, and even the 90s, then you will know his face-if not his name. Lewis was a veteran of more than 200 film and television roles, including starring in multiple Client Eastwood features. His work on the original “Salem’s Lot” helped launch Steven King’s successful screen adaption franchise.
In the 2000s, Lewis continued to work steadily in feature films and television. His appearances on “Dawson Creek,” Thomas Kinkade’s “Christmas Cottage,” and voice work on “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto” exposed Mr. Lewis to a younger audience. His children–daughter Juliette Lewis is the most known–have all taken up the family business as actors, directors or producers. It’s a safe bet that Lewis’ legacy will impact Hollywood for generations to come.
Veteran actor Eli Wallach passed June 24, 2014, at the age of 98. You may not know his name, but you will know his work. He played Tuco in Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966); Dr. Herbert A. Morrison, in Nuts (1987); and Don Altobello, in The Godfather: Part III. Wallach was also a staple on television; guest staring in numerous series and made-for-TV movies.
Wallach gained rave reviews in his screen debut portraying Silva Vacarro in the 1956 sensual dark-drama Baby Doll, garnering him a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Supporting Actor” and winning a BAFTA Award for “Most Promising Newcomer to Film.” His career spanned six decades and included significant roles working with many of Hollywood’s most popular stars: Steve McQueen, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Michael Landon and Barbara Streisand, to name a few.
Chrissy Amphlett’s (53) untimely death on April 21, 2013, didn’t generate much attention. She is best remembered as the lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls. Her professional career peaked in 1991 when the band’s hit song “I Touch Myself” reached number one and four on the Australian and U.S. pop charts, respectively.
Amphlett was known for putting on a daring stage act that consisted of aggressively and provocatively performing on stage wearing a girl’s school uniform and fishnet stockings. Although she gained fame singing, Amphlett had a diverse resume’ that included a brief acting career, highlighted with a role in a 1988 musical production of Blood Brothers, starring Russell Crowe, and multiple soundtracks credits for television and feature films.
Before Chrissy Amphlett succumbed to cancer, it was her wish that the song “I Touch Myself” would become an anthem for breast cancer awareness. Near the anniversary of her death, her wish became a reality when the “I Touch Myself Project” launched in 2014. The campaign, featuring a who’s who video of Aussie celebrities singing her hit song, was a resounding success.
Legendary hard rock pioneer Jon Lord (71), a founding member and keyboardist for Deep Purple, passed away July 16, 2012. In the late 1960s, Lord revolutionized the music industry when he plugged a Hammond organ directly into an amplifier; this produced a distinctive and innovative sound that would become his trademark.
Two years after Deep Purple split in 1976, Lord joined the band Whitesnake. His influence was instrumental in developing the band into one of the most popular acts throughout Europe and the UK, eventually braking into the US market.
When Deep Purple regrouped in 1984, Lord’s presence was evident in the title track “Perfect Strangers.” He toured successfully with the band till he departed in 2002 to pursue a solo career. “It was the longest hardest decision of my life, to leave the band I had founded, and had loved for nearly 35 years.” Lord’s groundbreaking achievements on keyboards are still in use today throughout the recording industry.
The celebrities profiled above are examples of tremendously talented and artistic people whose death went largely unnoticed. A Crow’s View encourages people to look “below the fold” and celebrate the lives of the remarkable people that are often overlooked by the media. In many cases they may have made a larger impact in life, than the credit they received in death.