Every time we turn around, it seems that someone we knew or at least were familiar with has died.
It shouldn't be a surprise, death is the natural conclusion of life. But in death, we take the time to celebrate that person's life and achievements (and makes us sit back and realize we should try and honor people while they are still here, and not when they are gone).
Airlock Alpha gathered some of people who passed away in 2011. It's not a complete list by far. According to Internet Movie Database, nearly 3,000 of its listees have moved on to the afterlife this year.
Share some of your favorite memories from the list below in our comments section, or even talk about those we may not have included.
But for now, join us in celebrating those we lost in 2011.
April 1, 1931-Oct. 7, 2011
An accomplished character actor who appeared as Login in four episodes of the classic "Doctor Who" in 1980. Also played Arthur Wormley in the pilot episode of Terry Nation's "Survivors" in 1975.
1930-May 13, 2011
A Canadian director behind shows such as "Fraggle Rock" and the "War of the Worlds" series. Also directed "TekWar: TekLords" in 1994 and an episode of "The Outer Limits" in 1997.
March 25, 1924-July 8, 2011
He was a farmer in the 1977 film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." He also played Opa Globe in the 1985 "Amazing Stories" episode "Ghost Train" as well as two appearances in the 1980s revival of "The Twilight Zone." He retired from television in 1999.
Oct. 30, 1923-April 28, 2011
Probably most famous to genre fans as Trelane in the classic "Star Trek" episode "The Squire of Gothos," and would return to play the Klingon Koloth in "The Trouble With Tribbles" later that year. He would reprise Koloth in the 1994 "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode "Blood Oath," but would retire from television and movies two years later after a guest stint on "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues."
Sept. 1, 1926-June 23, 2011
A popular Marvel comics artist who created characters later used in the Blade film and television franchise.
Oct. 5, 1950-May 27, 2011
Was a star of the 1970s series "Taxi," but broke into the genre in roles like the 1989 series "Freddy's Nightmares." He really made his mark, however, in more than 70 episodes of "Babylon 5" as Zack Allen.
Sept. 15, 1922-May 3, 2011
He played Perry White in four Superman movies, but also appeared in the 1974 television movie "The Day the Earth Moved" as well as the 1964 "Twilight Zone" episode "Caesar and Me."
Dec. 16, 1929-Feb. 22, 2011
Appeared in more than 100 episodes of the classic "Doctor Who" series as Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart, reprising the role in 2008 for the "Doctor Who" spinoff "Sarah Jane Adventures." His character was given a fitting departure in the season finale of "Doctor Who" in 2011 when The Doctor calls to have his usual visit with Stewart only to find out he had passed away.
Nov. 23, 1930-Dec. 16, 2011
You may not recognize the name, but you would sure recognize the face. He played a minister in "Lost" in 2004 and the Klingon judge in the 1991 film "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." He also appeared in "The Bionic Woman" in 1978, "Get Smart" in 1968 and "Lost In Space" in 1965.
Sept. 16, 1927-June 23, 2011
He might be best known for his starring role in "Columbo," but he does have some genre credits to his name, most notable as Ramos Clemente in the 1961 "Twilight Zone" episode "The Mirror."
Feb. 6, 1945-Feb. 27, 2011
A character actor who got his start as a chrome robot in George Lucas' "THX 1138," he would go on to make appearances in "The Bionic Woman" in 1978, "Battlestar Galactica" and "The Incredible Hulk" in 1979 and "Knight Rider" in 1986.
Gerald Perry Finnerman
Dec. 17, 1931-April 6, 2011
A cinematographer who broke into the industry through "Mission: Impossible" and the original "Star Trek" through Desilu Productions in the 1960s as director of photography. He would come back to help Gene Roddenberry again in his failed pilot "Genesis II" in 1973. He would also handle cinematography for the 1974 "Planet of the Apes" television series and would do all the camera work for the Bruce Willis series "Moonlighting" before retiring in 1995.
Sept. 16, 1930-Jan. 2, 2011
She played Altaira Morbius in 1956's "Forbidden Planet," but continued to have a strong career after that, including "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" in the early 1960s, two episodes of "The Twilight Zone," and "Fantasy Island" in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Nov. 23, 1916-March 17, 2011
Most famous for playing Alfred Pennyworth in the early Batman films with the likes of Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney. He also appeared in seven episodes of the classic "Doctor Who," beginning with the Celestial Toymaker in the 1966 episode "The Dancing Floor" and "The Final Test" as well as Councillor Hedin in three parts of "Arc of Infinity" in 1983.
Feb. 8, 1919-Aug. 24, 2011
An orchestrator whose career spanned more than 50 years including work on productions such as 2009's "Star Trek," 1987's "Spaceballs," 1986's "Short Circuit," 1985's "D.A.R.Y.L.," and 1982's "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
Aug. 6, 1954-April 3, 2011
Got his break developing the story for "Rambo: First Blood Part II" in 1985, but is known to genre fans for developing the screen story and serving as an executive producer for "The Mummy" in 1999.
Diana Wynne Jones
Aug. 16, 1934-March 26, 2011
The novelist which the animated feature "Howling's Moving Castle" was based on in 2004.
1931-Oct. 7, 2011
Probably best known for playing Lt. Cmdr. Beach in 1982's "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Also appeared in the 1960s version of "The Outer Limits."
Aug. 22, 1951-Sept. 19, 2011
A writer for animation projects of both the silver screen and the boob tube, including the story for Disney's "The Fox and the Hound," the 1980s "The Transformers" animated series, and later "Pinky and the Brain." He won two Daytime Emmys for his work on "Pinky" and was nominated for two more.
April 1, 1926-Nov. 21, 2011
The acclaimed author of the Dragonriders of Pern series that is now being developed into a feature film.
Sept. 7, 1929-Feb. 13, 2011
Played Capt. Cook in the four-part "Doctor Who" episode "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" in 1988 and 1989. Also played Sarkoff in a 1978 episode of "Blakes 7."
Aug. 15, 1926-July 8, 2011
He only appeared in eight projects over a 62-year period, but fans probably best remember him as King Johnny Romano in five episodes of "Dark Shadows" in 1969.
Nov. 4, 1971-Feb. 17, 2011
Was an executive producer in the Chronicles of Narnia series as the man who was able to finally secure the theatrical rights to the C.S. Lewis novels.
April 12, 1936-Oct. 5, 2011
One of his earliest roles was as Adam in the 1969 "Star Trek" episode "The Way to Eden." Since appeared in "The Incredible Hulk" in the late 1970s, "The Incredible Hulk Returns" in 1988, Gen. Denning in the 1995 "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode "Little Green Men," and as Zed in the "Men In Black" television series from 1997 to 2001.
May 2, 1925-Nov. 19, 2011
A popular British actor who played Isaac Newton in a holodeck recreation in the 1993 "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Episode "Descent, Part 1." However, he is probably best known as the Well-Manicured Man who appeared in eight episodes of "The X-Files" from 1996 to 1998. He also played Gen. Staedert in the 1997 film "The Fifth Element" and The Seeker in the pilot episode of "Odyssey 5."
March 29, 1957-April 9, 2011
Played Janet in four episodes of "Doctor Who" in 1986: "The Trial of the Time Lord." Also played Veron in a 1979 episode of "Blakes 7."
Feb. 7, 1946-Jan. 2, 2011
Genre audiences first got a look at him in 1992 as David in "Alien 3" and later as Roland Tembo in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." He also played the Keeper in the 2005 film "Aeon Flux" and Father Brennan in the 2006 film "The Omen." He also played Spyros in the 2010 version of "Clash of the Titans" as well as Maurice Fischer in "Inception."
Harry Redmond Jr.
Oct. 15, 1909-May 23, 2011
Worked on special effects in the earlier days of television and movies, including "Science Fiction Theater" in the mid-1950s and "The Outer Limits" in the 1960s. He was the son of special effects pioneer Harry Redmond Sr.
Sept. 9, 1923-Sept. 10, 2011
Although his character of Ben Parker was killed in the 2002 film "Spider-Man," he still returned for both sequels in 2004 and 2007. However, he also played the president in 1996's "Escape from L.A." as well as Alan Maxwell in the 1963 "Outer Limits" episode "The Galaxy Being."
Jan. 1, 1922-Dec. 7, 2011
He is the co-creator of the Joker character from the Batman franchise, reportedly basing him on German actor Conrad Veidt.
May 22, 1940-April 17, 2011
Most of his early work was in westerns in the 1960s, but he quickly made the transition to science-fiction beginning with 1973's "Frankenstein: The True Story." He played Trevean in the 1996 "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode "The Quickening," Dr. Jonas Peyton in a 1997 episode of "Poltergeist: The Legacy," two episodes of the 1990s revival of "The Outer Limits," and Dr. Charles Tenzer in a 2001 episode of "Earth: Final Conflict."
Oct. 11, 1913-Dec. 14, 2011
The comic creator of Captain America who continued to produce strong stories in the comics genre, and continue to be a major staple of fandom in the media.
Feb. 1, 1946-April 19, 2011
She first appeared as the famous companion Sarah Jane Smith in 1973 in "Doctor Who," and would appear in 81 episodes before departing in 1976. She would reprise her role for "The Five Doctors" in 1983, but would be out of the franchise (outside of a 1993 television short) until 2006 when she would appear in "School Reunion" alongside David Tennant and Billie Piper. She would appear in 53 episodes of the "Doctor Who" spinoff "The Sarah Jane Adventures," up until her death.
Feb. 24, 1923-June 23, 2011
Television score conductor on shows such as the 1960s' "Twilight Zone," "Star Trek," and more.
Jan. 22, 1934-April 2, 2011
Spent nearly 25 years making sure the sound we heard in movies was excellent, including the 1978 animated version of "The Lord of the Rings," "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" in 1979, "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" in 1980, "Escape from New York" in 1981, "Twilight Zone: The Movie" in 1983, "Gremlins" and "Starman" in 1984, "Dune," "Back to the Future," "Batteries Not Included," and "The Goonies."
July 17, 1972-Sept. 11, 2011
Hollywood was greatly saddened by this death, the man who showed his true strength starring in the Starz series "Spartacus" while fighting his own battles with cancer.
Jan. 9, 1939-Jan. 15, 2011
She was Clark Kent's Kryptonian mother in the Superman movies of the late 1970s and early 1980s. She almost stayed away from the 1987 disaster that was "Superman IV: The Quest For Peace," but her voice ended up being used in the film.
March 3, 1950-June 12, 2011
After getting her big break as an executive producer of "Pretty Woman" in 1990, she made her mark in the genre as a producer in the Spider-Man franchise, including next year's "The Amazing Spider-Man" reboot.
About the Author