Hollywood Remembers Those It Lost to COVID-19

Hollywood Remembers Terrence McNally
Photofest; Al Pereira/Getty Images

The 300,000 Americans who have died from the disease this year included actors, art directors, animators and playwrights — even an iconic movie villain. Rachel Bloom, Lee Daniels, Nathan Lane, John Mulaney and others celebrate the lives of their friends and collaborators.

Broadway Playwright Terrence  McNally
A chat from the afterlife with the gifted dramatist leaves an actor feeling lucky to have ever known him

By Nathan Lane

So I think I may have chatted briefly with my dear and recently departed friend, Terrence McNally, the other day. Perhaps I should explain. I was having a session with Theresa Caputo, better known as the Long Island Medium, on her podcast, Hey Spirit. (A definite sign I have too much time on my hands. Or my publicist does.) Anyway, there I was, doing my best to be open to the experience of communicating with the dead through a woman with very large hair and frighteningly long fingernails. Don't get me wrong — she was perfectly lovely while "sharing her gift," as she calls it, but it still felt like a stretch to me. After talking to my father and mother, who I have to admit sounded far more sophisticated and psychologically savvy than they ever were on Earth — who knows, maybe they found a good therapist in the afterlife — I finally decided not to let my parents monopolize the discussion in the otherworldly lounge, and I mentioned the loss of one of my closest friends, the great playwright Terrence McNally.

Suddenly Theresa asked, "Did you write a tribute to him?" I said, "Yes, for Time magazine." She said, "He wants to thank you for that and for saying such kind things." Then she said, "He just keeps saying, 'Can you believe I died?' " That brought me up short. It totally made me laugh and sounded exactly like something Terrence would say. Especially if speaking from another dimension. She also reported Terrence saying some comforting things about how he was not afraid of death, that he had been prepared and felt ready to go if it came his way, and how proud he was of what he left behind.

I knew that was true based on what Terrence's husband, Tom Kirdahy, had told me about their conversation the night before Terrence wound up in the hospital, where he would die from COVID-19 three days later. But it was very nice to hear. To answer Terrence's burning question: No, I still can't believe he died. His was a death-defying, indomitable and incredibly humane spirit, a flame of originality and boldness that could never be extinguished. And thankfully it won't be because of all the great writing he left behind. Terrence has good reason to be proud.

I recently had to record a speech from The Lisbon Traviata, the play that put me on the map and changed my career. The character of Mendy is describing Maria Callas to a young man on the phone, but it could also easily apply to Terrence’s work, as well. He says, “This doesn’t seem to be such a terrible existence with people like her to illuminate it. We’ll never see her like again. How do you describe a miracle? Do yourself a favor, put on one of her records — I Puritani or Sonnambula or Norma. If what you hear doesn’t get to you, really speak to you, touch your heart, the truth of it, the intensity of feeling…well, I can’t imagine such a thing.”

Do yourself a favor: Pick up one of his plays. The Lisbon Traviata or Lips Together, Teeth Apart or Love! Valour! Compassion! I promise Terrence and his genius will come alive for you. My heartfelt thanks to Theresa Caputo for allowing me to have one last word with my beloved friend. At least for that moment, I was a believer.

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The "Polite" Actor Behind Darth  Vader

I will miss David Prowse. His towering stature and imposing physicality were crucial elements in the creation of one of the most feared, enduring and iconic villains in movie history. Ironic, really, because the Dave I knew was so different in every way. He was a genuinely kind person: sincere, polite and caring. He was a true gentleman. I’m sad he is gone, but I take solace in the fact that he will be long remembered by his countless fans around the world. — Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker to Prowse’s Sith Lord in Star Wars

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Hairstylist Charles  Gregory Ross
"Everyone loved" the veteran of films like 2002’s Drumline, recalls his final collaborator

By Lee Daniels

Wrangling hair and makeup over the years has always been a chore for me. The few good ones I know are always unavailable. I had heard about the legendary Charles Gregory through multiple sources, but it was my partner, Fisher, who insisted that I meet with him for The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

Our first meeting was via FaceTime. Charles popped on the screen, and it was sort of indescribable. With hair that would make Diana Ross jealous and makeup that could rival RuPaul’s, he whispered, “Enchanté, Mr. Daniels. I heard you’re a difficult director to work for.” I replied, “Only to those who don’t know what they’re doing, sweetie.” His comeback was, “Then we’ll get along just fine.” And we did. We were friends from that moment on. We had an unspoken knowingness. A bond that only two Black gay men can have if you survive this long in Hollywood. He made me feel like I was back home in Philadelphia. We became family.

On our first day of filming, Mr. Gregory arrived in a full-length mink coat with a matching tam propped just so on the side of his head. He did a spin and asked, “What do you think, Daddy?” I screamed, “Everything, Charles! Everything!” That’s the energy he brought to set — and always with a warm smile. Everyone  loved  him.

His craftsmanship was precise. If Billie’s hair wasn’t acting right in a scene, I’d scream, “Charles, what’s the matter with it?” “Nothing a little grease can’t fix, Daddy!” he’d say, and he’d pull out his jar of pomade and get to work making her beautiful. I’m sure his legendary lace front wigs are on the black market right now. He was a magician. An icon. Once you find a department head you connect with, you never let that person go. Damn you, COVID. I love you, Charles.

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TV Costumer Josh  Wallwork
A wardrobe supervisor on Law & Order: SVU describes a gifted designer with a "calming energy" and "bubbly personality"

By Joey Armon

I met Josh almost a decade ago, when he came to visit NYC for a week. That visit was the catalyst that brought Josh to further his wardrobe career to film and TV. Up to that point, he had been working on theatrical productions and making historical clothing and designing extravagant costumes. After moving to New York, Josh began working on The Blacklist and Bull and finally was part of my wardrobe team on SVU. Josh was a great asset to me at work because of his amazing eye for detail, his calming energy and his ability to lighten up a room with his bubbly personality — always with a witty story or a passionate conversation about movies or music. As a friend, he listened, he advised and he supported unconditionally.

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Art Director Matteo De Cosmo
His producer collaborator recalls a "loving  father" who always stopped to appreciate the details

By Gail Barringer

Matteo was always thinking, always ahead of the game.

On the ABC series Emergence, we were working on a scene where the character Piper used her superpowers to change a bunch of books into one color. Nowadays, everyone says, “We’ll do it in post with visual effects.” In this instance, we realized that we needed some kind of practical element behind her. I said, "How are we going to do this?" In episodic television, we don’t have a lot of time to prepare because we keep schedule. Matteo said, "We're going to hand paint these books. We're going to do this."

Long story short, he worked with his team to build tables where they brought over the books — something like 6,000 — and all the scenic artists painted them. “This is how you do it,” he said. The books were barely dry when they put them on set. It was incredible. It was entirely his execution, laying out from A to Z how to get the job done. He had a focus and a determination to not only finish but to do it beautifully.

I met Matteo on Marvel's The Punisher after hearing of him through mutual colleagues. It was a hard show to produce, but I remember knowing right away that he was an exceptional person. He took so much pride in his work. He had a confident, wonderful presence that drew people toward him. We never stopped working together.

We had an unspoken understanding. He knew what needed to get done and how to do it. It was seamless, effortless. The shows that we worked on together were challenging. I never had to worry about his department, nor him. He was a wonderfully organized manager who oversaw construction, scenic. If you were ever scouting or on set with Matteo, he would always stop — no matter where we were — and ask, “Did you see the patina? Did you look at this color? Look over there. Look at the beautiful detail.” This is such a fast-paced industry — “Keep moving. Get it done.” — to take those moments and pause, observe, appreciate; that's what he brought to the team. It’s one of a million reasons he was so wonderful.

He drew amazing pictures, sketches, he was also a musician. He was a loving father. He enjoyed good food. He would love nothing more than to sit with you, share tomatoes from his garden, and tell stories about growing up in Italy with his family. I'm so sad that he's gone and that our industry will never see what's next from Matteo. He wanted to do more production design and would have been great at it. I'm going to miss his spirit, his energy and his talent. I wish we were able to have more time with him. His death has left a hole in our community. A lot of us are back at work together. He worked with us on the first season of Wu-Tang: An American Saga and we’re back right now on season two. He’s not there and it’s a loss. I feel like there’s a limb missing.

Any time you thought your conversation with Matteo might be over, you would go to walk out of a room and say something like, “Gosh, those are lovely flowers,” and he would look at you and say, “No. You’re a lovely flower.” Or, “What a beautiful day.” He’d say, “You’re a beautiful day.” No matter what you’d say, he’d flip it on you to make every experience more uplifting and special. It was kind of a joke, but it always made you feel good. It’s something we are all trying to do now. For him.

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Stunt Legend Chuck Bail
A colleague recalls how the Gumball Rally director had a "heart of gold" 

By Gary Kent

In the mid-1960s, Chuck and I were both hired as stuntmen to do a chariot race in a picture that never went into production. We became pals sitting around the set waiting for filming to begin. I learned how to do a backward high-fall from Chuck; I was hired by the Telephone Co. to do a backward fall from the top of a telephone pole. I had never done it before, so I called Chuck for advice. He said, "Just stick your head in your armpit and push off." And he was right. As he would say: "Piece of cake!"

Chuck was revered in the stunt community for his original staging of large stunt sequences, like in [1974's] Freebie and the Bean, and for giving work to so many stuntmen and stuntwomen. My best memory of Chuck is his sense of humor — that black Irish manner that he gave off so well, that twinkle in his eye.

I want people to remember that in spite of being one of the best stuntmen in the biz, he was always friendly and open to the little folks — the extras, the crew, wranglers. Tough exterior, but heart of gold.

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CBS News Director of Talent Maria  Mercader
The network’s acting Washington bureau chief describes a colleague "bigger than life"

By Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews

Maria was such a bigger-than-life person. She was joyous, she was sassy, she was strong. She had such empathy and was a mentor to so many people. She loved making people feel like they belonged and that they had potential and seeing people that were not being seen by others. She shaped a lot of careers. She knew everybody, and everybody knew her. She had the memory of an elephant, and she listened to people's stories.

Maria dealt with cancer for years. She beat every single type of cancer, but she never wanted to be defined by cancer. Her joy for living was infectious. She was shaped by her faith because she was unabashedly Catholic. She was shaped by her love of life, of art, of music. She would always have a smile on her face. For someone who went through the invasiveness of cancer, you would never know because she was always smiling. She was always happy. She wanted to see beyond that reality that she lived with for years. She had been dealt such a hand that she knew not to take herself or things terribly seriously and just enjoy every moment.

Susan Zirinsky, CBS News president and senior EP: "Maria Mercader embodied all of a journalist’s vital traits, foremost the fearlessness she showed each time over the past 20 years when cancer tried to take her from us too soon. If you knew Maria, you loved her.  She inspired everyone with the power of her spirit in the face of a serious illness many would have succumbed to long ago. Maria was our “Fearless Girl” long before that statue appeared on Wall Street."

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Composer Adam  Schlesinger
The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creative team remembers their "magical" collaborator, the multitalented musician and Fountains of Wayne star

Aline Brosh McKenna, co-creator and executive producer: We had a cool connection because I knew Adam before we were really in the workforce. I met him not long after college in the apartment he shared with [Will, McKenna’s husband]. It was kind of split in half and, definitely, the cool people were hanging out on Adam's side. He was always very good at what we now call networking, which is making connections and being true fans of people. That’s what he was. I could tell he was someone who was going somewhere because he always had a lot of plans and was very talented. We kept in touch over the years, and it was really nice to see his rise. I love matchmaking, and I was able to do a shidduch between him, Jack and Rachel. We were all beside ourselves that he was available.

Rachel Bloom, star, co-creator and executive producer: Everyone is full of fascinating contradictions, and although he had this presence, he didn’t need to suck up all the air in a room. He was like a dog inside a cat's body. In fact, his pets were cats, and he talked about how he had cats as pets but loved dogs and that's what you should really take away. I ran into him at La Poubelle months after Showtime passed on the show. I recognized him at the bar and went over and he was, like, “Oh, hey.” He didn't recognize me and I thought it was because this guy is such a big deal but that obviously wasn't the case. He was just kind of shy and quiet when you first meet him. I didn’t really sit in a room with him and write a song from scratch until episode three when we wrote “Face Your Fears.” I remember him sitting at my electric piano and starting with these chords. Immediately, you could tell it was a hit. There was never a moment from him, like, “Listen kid, I’ve been nominated for an Oscar.” Never any of that. It was all about the work.

Jack Dolgen, writer, songwriter and executive producer: I had a preexisting admiration condition for Adam before I met him. In my previous life, I was a musician and had recorded in a studio that Adam owned. We never met but I saw his records on the walls — “That Thing You Do” and “Josie and the Pussycats.” I thought, that this guy has it all figured out: the ability to be in a band, make artistic music and also work in film and TV. When Aline said, “Hey, I know Adam Schlesinger,” it was as if we were working on some global diplomacy project and someone said, “I know the secretary of state, is that helpful?” I said to Aline, “Well if you can get Adam Schlesinger to be on the show, it'll go from good to great.” That was such an understatement.

McKenna: He had many, many families. He knew everybody, was working, had worked or was about to work with just about everyone. He’d say, “I’m not going to be around on Friday,” and it would turn out that he was working with Barack Obama. He was a man of mystery in that way. He worked with bands like The Monkees and America, Sarah Silverman, a long list. He had many pots on the stove, or as I always refer to it: He had many boats in the water.

Bloom: It seemed like what he did was magic. I say that as someone who does write songs, so I know it's not magic. I know there's a lot of work in it, but the times I got to see him crafting songs in action, sitting at the piano, it was magical. Everything he touched became a number one song. We were writing at Aline’s house for season one, episode 10. We needed a song for [character Darryl Whitefeather] and Adam busted out the idea of, what if it’s a techno song called “Having a Few People Over.” It was so funny. You have people who can produce all genres. You have people who can write music in all genres. Then you have people who can write lyrics in all genres, and others who can write funny lyrics. Then you have people who are also good at noncomedic, good music and they can play in a band. Most people only move in one of those groups. But not Adam. He did it all. I can't name anyone else in the world who has what he had.

McKenna: One of the things that has really stuck with me is how hard he worked on the show. He worked so constantly. I think work was Adam's love language. One of the reasons we all felt loved by him was because he cared so much about the things we worked on. It was never too late or too early to text Adam about work because it meant so, so much to him. Having someone give you not just their talent, but really their heart and soul, was nice. To be able to walk into work and see an old pal at work whom I met as a 22-year-old kid was lovely.

Bloom: He never came to set, which is something I gave him shit for constantly, but he didn't have time. We started doing live shows and it was a great time for us all to hang out without being under the gun of having to write a song. In the heat of the moment, I would always try to insist that he and Jack do solo numbers. Adam would always say, “They don’t want to see me. They want to see the actors.” Same for Jack, but when they performed, it always ended up being one of the best parts of the show because there would be a person sharing their most authentic voice. It was always the most undiluted, pure version of a song.

McKenna: We were both born in '67 — I'm August and he's October — so I got to turn 53 this year and he didn't. It’s just not believable. It's not believable. Recently we were listening to a demo he had made and Jack said, “That’s the voice of someone who is alive.” That’s what it feels like. It does not feel possible that he isn’t here.

Dolgen: When you lose a family member and there is that first birthday or first holiday, those become intense moments because you feel that someone is missing. We’re in a suspended reality now [because of the pandemic] so we don’t yet know what void is left by his absence. But we feel it.

Bloom: He’d been working on The Nanny with me [the Broadway adaptation of the classic '90s sitcom starring Fran Drescher], and the day before he got sick, he sent me a version of the first demo. The way we’d work was that I took a first pass of the songs and I would send him various forms of melodies with my terrible piano or singing into a phone. “You’re going to make this so much better,” I would tell him. He sent me back his first pass on the first number and it was amazing. He sent it to me the night he started getting sick, so I have one finished song by him. It almost feels like someone who's been canonized as a saint; I have his blessing on these songs. I'm usually not super precious with song changes, joke tweaks, etc. But this score is the last thing I have of his and he, like, it was blessed — every song.

Dolgen: These interviews are all we have. So many people who have died in the last nine months, their loved ones, friends and family haven't been able to get together and have funerals and do the rituals around death that are time tested. When a musician dies, not only do you have a funeral, but you also want to get together and play their songs. Everyone would pile into a bar, drink all night, there would be a band playing his songs. Part of this reality has suspended the grieving process because those elements that are part of the grieving process haven't been able to happen. They're on pause. I hope they happen one day. This is as close as we have to being at the bar telling stories, or at a Shivah, smiling and laughing about, “Do you remember that one time Adam did this?”

McKenna: He was EGOT-nominated and was halfway through, missing only the Tony and Oscar. Not only was he a titan in his field, but a titan in so many fields. Sometimes in our culture, we tend to reward people who have drilled down really hard into one thing, but Adam could do so many things. If we ever needed to replace him on the show, we would've needed about half a dozen people. That sounds like I'm joking, and I am not joking. He is also one of those people who would have died at age 92 if not for this stupid fucking virus. And he would’ve been as cool at 92 as he was when he was 22.

Dolgen: He had a fantastic combination of humility and confidence. He was humble enough to love it when someone else wrote something great. He never changed anything just to get his paw prints on it. He would be like, "No, it's awesome,” if he thought it was. But he was also really confident, which is one of the things that is under-talked-about a little. I overheard the song “That Thing You Do!” one morning at the gym. I came to work and said, “That's such a good song, man." And he goes "The bridge is really good."

McKenna: He's so fucking funny. Every text from Adam was fucking hilarious. I saved a bunch because his text game was very strong. He wanted to change his main title credit. And I said, “We have to clear that with the network, what would you like?” And he said, "Un film de Adam Schlesinger."

Bloom: I'm looking through my texts, too, actually. The night of the Emmys, I was backstage because I had been performing. I texted Adam and Jack, "Our category is announced during act eight by Lisa Kudrow." Jack texted, "Act eight? How many acts are there?" I write, "Like 13." Then Adam said, "Act eight is usually where the protagonist suffers a seventh setback."

McKenna: I have a text from when we were trying to figure out what time to go to the Emmys. I said, "The famous people get there late, so let's be famous." He texted, "Good plan. The really famous people get there a week later."

Bloom: The last text exchange I had with him was on the chain with Jack and Adam. They had written the song “Miracle of Birth,” and I was nine months pregnant, so I texted them, "I thought you guys should know that per the opening line of 'Miracle of Birth,' my mucus plug is now being discharged.’ Adam wrote back, "That is mucus to our ears." That's the final text I have from Adam.

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SNL Music Coordinator Hal  Willner
An encyclopedic understanding of music helped him score the show’s laughs since 1980. Says the comedian: "He had a huge effect on me"

By John Mulaney

My first impressions of Hal were that he had very strong taste in music and that I feared that he would find my tastes incredibly pedestrian. He was one of those exceptionally cool people where I was afraid to say anything about anything. I knew he knew Lou Reed, and I was a huge fan of Lou Reed, and I just thought if I didn't name an obscure enough album we wouldn't be fast friends. When I first met him, I thought, "Oh, he has really strong tastes in music and I wonder if he dislikes a lot of things." And what I found over the years was Hal was such the opposite. He was such a fan of things. He appreciated the very weird, and he appreciated people taking swings.

I remember him walking down the hall when Bob Dylan released a Christmas album, and he had on headphones, and he had the CD in his hand, Christmas in the Heart. And he was walking down the hallway, holding the album up in the air to show me from far down the hallway. And he just said, "Dylan made a fucking Christmas album!" And I bet he liked the Dylan Christmas album. When I look back on that memory, I think I took it as a negative because I was 25 and didn't understand that the absurdity of life is kind of fun to embrace, which is best summed up in Bob Dylan's Christmas album. Hal was in touch with what the public might consider the B-side of Saturday Night Live — years that weren't 1975 or 2008, years when the show was struggling. That's how it's written about in books, but it was a living, breathing show, with people like William S. Burroughs, that Hal booked, and Captain Beefheart and interesting things being done. And a lot of that was because of Hal. His vibe was, just because SNL is the Yankees, or so successful or so legendary, doesn't mean you can't try weird shit.

Hal really did have a huge effect on me, and it happened gradually, in stages, as we got to know each other and as I realized how fascinating his life was. Like the people he knew. You could know him for three years, and he wasn't a name-dropper. One day you'd just ask him like, "Where'd you get that shirt?" And he'd say, "At Allen Ginsberg's house." We were emailing after Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack died, and he had a long paragraph in this email describing how he knew Mac, and this was at a time when he knew Ginsberg and Leonard Cohen. And then he wrote, "Seems like I chose to be around nothing but people who did not live life on life's terms, as they say."

I don't think Hal did not live life on life's terms, but he was a complete and total individual. He was a total original. And he really cared about the work in and of itself. He taught me to make things that you really love and spend a lot of time and put a lot of care into them and you'll be satisfied because you'll have it in the end.

Hal didn't make things that he loved, and he didn't collect old ventriloquist dummies and send me Ernie Kovacs clips to be a contrarian. He did it as a celebration. He was celebrating his interests and visions that he had.

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NYC Drag Star Nashom  Wooden
As Mona Foot, he had a dance smash and was in 1999’s Flawless

By Lady Bunny 

Matthew Kasten, who ran Boy Bar, tried to groom Mona early on as a dowdy Aretha Franklin, someone who would lip-sync in a sleeveless cotton shift housedress. That didn’t last long because Mona was a glamour girl who wanted long wigs, waist cinchers and the highest of heels. She did not want to go out onstage looking like Shirley Caesar.

Mona was very funny, very biting. A party girl for sure — as was I. She always had an impressive physique. That was one of the things that set Mona apart is that she had a pretty face but a muscular body. It was a kind of androgynous look, some might even say a “gender fuck,” but the kids won’t like me saying that these days. Mona became one of the stars of a nightlife scene that has not been touched by any that I have ever known — and I’ve traveled the world seeking them out.

For a while there, going to the Wigstock festival that I put on, there was a certain scenester gay man who was always talking about what Mona was wearing. She was one of the biggest and most popular names, and she was one of us. She blamed the discomfort of drag as a reason that she drank too much but that tapered off in the last few years when she got very into fitness.

She tried to hang up her heels and focus on the boy band, the Ones. But they were a little too old to be called a boy band so I prefer “man band.” They had a massive worldwide dance smash with “Absolutely Flawless” from the film Flawless. They went over to England to perform and this is why you should never sign a release that gives a licensee rights to your voice and image in perpetuity because Mona got over there and there was this major billboard campaign for a telephone mobile services company.

In addition to being a dear friend and coworker, Mona was a one-time roommate if you can believe that. People thought these two bitchy divas would never be able to tolerate each other but we did. Our apartment was small, and sometimes Mona would bring a man home — let’s face it, we were in our 20s, that’s what we were doing back then — and she’d take that man into the bathroom. Mona was resourceful.

Her death happened in March, early in the pandemic. It affected the whole club community by making everyone see, for a fact, that this was real enough that one of their own had passed. My understanding of the circumstances is that she called her doctor and was advised to get some rest and next thing you know, she’s gone. It’s unspeakable to think of Mona lying there alone and dying.

When people think of Mona now, I want them to smile. I want them to look her up on YouTube. Do a little Google. She was one of the leading lights of New York’s downtown drag community. She stayed popular after leaving drag as a bartender at The Cock. I would run into Mona walking near me because she went to a gym near my house. She was always upbeat and happy. That’s not to say that she didn’t have a bitter moment where she’d need to read someone if they deserved it. But she was very good at that. She was working on music and other projects. She had so much more left to give.

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Good Morning America Cameraman Tony  Greer
The technical production manager at the ABC morning show recalls a "friendly guy with a good attitude"

By Vernon Davis 

I met Tony through a mutual work colleague and brought him into GMA. Tony's passing was devastating to the crew as he was a friendly guy with a really good attitude and work ethic. He worked with the show for six years. I had a tremendous amount of faith in him. I knew I could trust him to get the job done. The last time I spoke to Tony, it was a simple, short conversation. All he said was, "I'm not feeling well," and I said, "OK, take care of yourself and keep me posted." He said, "OK, thanks." I never heard from him again. What I took from Tony is that no matter what, when an opportunity presents itself, always say yes. He was always ready to take on a task, even if it was unfamiliar. I appreciated that about him.

***

A Year Like No Other

Over 10 terrifying months, the industry saw some of its best and brightest taken too  soon.

March

24 Drag queen Nashom Wooden, aka Mona Foot, died at 50; Playwright Terrence McNally died at 81.

25  Broadway actor Mark Blum died at 69; Top Chef Masters winner Floyd Cardoz died at 59.

26  SVU costumer Josh Wallwork died at 45.

29  Musician Alan Merrill died at 69; CBS News’ Maria Mercader died at 54; Comedian Ken Shimura died at 70.

30  Actress and producer Hilary Heath died  at  74.

31  Dialogue coach Andrew Jack died at 76; Voice actress Julie Bennett died at 88.

April 

1 Fountain of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger died at 52.

2 Shoe designer Sergio  Rossi died at 84.

5  Jaws actress Lee Fierro died at 91; Actor Forrest Compton died at 94.

6 Theater set designer Jun Maeda died at 79.

7 Actor Allen Garfield died at 80; Country star John Prine died at 73; SNL music coordinator Hal Willner died at 64.

8 GMA cameraman Tony Greer died at 62; Hairstylist Charles Gregory Ross died at 68.

11  Co-founder of American Place Theatre Wynn Handman died at 97.

12  Actor Tim Brooke-Taylor died at 79.

13  Disney ink and paint artist Ann Sullivan died at 91.

15  E.T. cinematographer Allen Daviau died at 77.

21   Producer Joel Rogosin died at 87; Art director Matteo De Cosmo died at 52.

31 Executive secretary Leah Bernstein died  at 99.

May

8 Siegfried & Roy’s Roy  Horn died at 75.

18 Artistic director John McCormack died at 61.

31  9 to 5 actress Peggy Pope died at 91.

June 

14  Acting coach Jack Turnbull died at 72.

28 Dancer/philanthropist Joni Berry died at 89.

July

4 Actress Brandis Kemp died at 76.

5 Broadway actor Nick Cordero died at 41.

August

11 Singer Trini López died at 83.

September

6  Singer Bruce Williamson died at 49.

October

4 Fashion designer Kenzo Takada died at 81.

November

14  Hair actress and producer Lynn Kellogg died at 77.

15 Actor Soumitra Chatterjee died at 85; Stuntman Chuck Bail died at 85.

28  Actor David Prowse died at 85.

December

10  Director Kim Ki-duk died at 59.

12 Musician/athlete Charley Pride died at 86.

12 Actress Carol Sutton died at 76.

17 Assistant director Robert P. Cohen died at 76.

This story first appeared in the Dec. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.