Martin Landau was an actor best known for his role in the television series “Mission: Impossible” and his Oscar-winning portrayal of Bela Lugosi in the film “Ed Wood.” He died July 15 in Los Angeles. He was 89. Landau’s first memorable film role was as a spy’s henchman in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” in 1959. He played Rollin Hand on CBS’ hit series “Mission: Impossible” from its debut in 1966 until 1969. He also starred in the science fiction series “Space: 1999” during 1975-1977. He was nominated for Oscars for supporting roles in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988) and Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989) before he received the Academy Award for best supporting actor for the 1994 film “Ed Wood.”
George A. Romero was the father of the modern movie zombie and creator of the groundbreaking “Night of the Living Dead” franchise. He died July 16 following a battle with lung cancer, his family said in a statement. He was 77. Romero jump-started the zombie genre as co-writer and director of the 1968 movie “Night of the Living Dead,” which was made for about $100,000. His sequels included “Dawn of the Dead” (1978), “Day of the Dead” (1985), “Land of the Dead” (2005), “Diary of the Dead” (2007) and “George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead” (2009). Among his other movies were “The Crazies” (1973) and “Knightriders” (1981).
John Heard was an actor whose many roles included the father in the “Home Alone” series and a corrupt detective in “The Sopranos.” He died July 21. His death was confirmed Saturday by the Santa Clara Medical Examiner’s office in California. The cause was not made public. The medical examiner's office said the actor was 71, but other reports list his age as 72. Heard played Peter McCallister in “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” His movie roles also included “Big,” “The Trip to Bountiful,” “The Pelican Brief,” “Beaches,” “Gladiator,” “Rambling Rose” and “After Hours.” He received an Emmy nomination for playing Vin Makazian in “The Sopranos.”
Chester Bennington was lead singer of the group Linkin Park, which sold millions of albums with an ever-changing mix of hard rock, hip-hop and rap. He was found dead July 20 at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, near Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Coroner said authorities are investigating Bennington’s death as an apparent suicide. He was 41. Linkin Park sold 10 million copies of its 2000 debut, “Hybrid Theory,” and then another 4 million with 2003’s “Meteora.” The band also sold millions with its remix album, “Reanimation,” and its mash-up record with Jay-Z, “Collision Course.” Linkin Park won Grammys for best hard rock performance in 2001 for “Crawling” and best rap/sung collaboration for “Numb/Encore” in 2005.
Vito “Babe” Parilli was a former Patriots quarterback who starred in the team’s American Football League days. He died July 15 in Parker, Colo., of complications of multiple myeloma, a longtime family friend, said. He was 87. Parilli played for the then-Boston Patriots from 1961 to 1967 and was voted to three AFL All-Star games. He began his pro career with the Green Bay Packers in 1952, and also played for the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and the CFL’s Ottawa Rough Riders before retiring after the 1969 season. He played in college at Kentucky and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982. He also was a head coach in the World Football League, and served as an NFL assistant and coached in the Arena Football League.
Harvey Atkin was a Canadian actor who played the summer camp director in the movie “Meatballs.” He died July 17 following a battle with cancer. He was 74. Atkin was probably best known for his breakout role as Morty Melnick in Ivan Reitman’s 1979 comedy “Meatballs,” which starred Bill Murray. He also appeared in more than 90 episodes of “Cagney & Lacey” as Sgt. Ronald Coleman, and he appeared frequently as Judge Alan Ridenour on “Law & Order.”
Bob Wolff was the only sportscaster to call play-by-play of championships in all four major North American professional team sports. He died July 15 in South Nyack, N.Y. He was 96. Wolff was cited by the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest consecutive run as a broadcaster at 78 years, dating to 1939 on WDNC Radio when he was a student at Duke University. He broadcast the NFL’s championship game, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals. He interviewed Babe Ruth, was the voice of the Washington Senators, and for decades did play-by-play for the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.
Maryam Mirzakhani was a Stanford University professor who was the first and only woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics. She died July 15 from breast cancer, the university said. She was 40. Mirzakhani was one of four 2014 winners of the Fields Medal, which is presented every four years and is considered the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize. She was awarded for her work on complex geometry and dynamic systems. The work had implications in fields ranging from cryptography to “the theoretical physics of how the universe came to exist,” the university said.
Compiled from news service reports by Chris Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org