Since the rise of Hollywood cinema in the early 1900s, the industry has produced thousands of stars. These individuals have worked tirelessly for the growth of the industry. Just as the industry has seen new stars rise, it has lost hundreds of famous celebrities.
While most of these celebrities had most of their time on-screen, several others made their contributions behind the camera. To help keep the list concise, the focus will be on entertainers who lost their lives today. Here’s a list of celebrities who died on October 10.
Christopher Reeve was known as the face of Superman in the late 70s to late 80s. Interestingly, Reeve landed the iconic role of Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman in the same year he made his film debut. Reeve fell in love with horse riding in 1985 and began his equestrian career soon afterward. On May 27, 1995, Reeves was involved in a life-threatening accident after his horse made a refusal – stopping midway into the third fence jump.
Christopher Reeve suffered a cervical spinal injury after shattering his first and second vertebrae. The injury left him paralyzed from the neck down, and he had to rely on a ventilator to breathe for the rest of his life. On the night of October 9, 2004, Reeves had a cardiac arrest from a reaction to an antibiotic drug to treat an infection. He died on October 10, 2004, at age 52.
Billie ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas
Billie ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas was a famous child actor from the 1930s and 1940s. He was known for playing the Buckwheat character in Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films. Although not the first kid to portray the character, he’s the first male to play Buckwheat. Carlena Beard and Willie Mae Walton initially portrayed it. After Thomas took over the character in 1935, he continued appearing in female clothing. However, the character was slowly changed into male, with Thomas first playing the male counterpart in 1936. He played the character for almost a decade until he was 12 in 1943. Billie ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas died on October 10, 1980, from a heart attack in his Los Angeles apartment. He was 49 years old at the time of his death.
The multitalented Orson Welles was an actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He was greatly recognized for his work and is considered one of his generation’s most influential filmmakers. Welles had an extensive career spanning film, radio, and stage. Welles was known for his work in Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Jane Eyre (1943), The Third Man (1949), Touch of Evil (1958), Chimes at Midnight (1966), and Battle of Sutjeska (1973).
Orson Welles died from a heart attack at 70 on October 10, 1985. Two polls conducted by the British Film Institute in 2002, with critics and directors as respondents, voted Welles the greatest film director of all time. In 2018, The Daily Telegram included Orson Welles in their list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors of all time.
While he may not be a recognizable name for today’s film and television audiences, Sean Lawlor was one of the most successful Irish actors of his time. Besides being an actor, Lawlor was also an accomplished playwright. Lawlor was famous for playing Malcolm Wallace in Mel Gibson‘s Braveheart (1996) and On Broadway (2006). Lawlor’s final acting credit in film was playing Wallace in Not Another Not Another Movie (2011). Sean Lawlor died on October 10, 2009, after a brief illness. The actor was 55 years old when he died.
Alan Fudge starred in several productions in film and television. However, he was more popular for his work in television. Fudge was a supporting cast as C.W Crawford in NBC’s Man from Atlantis (1977–1978), Dep. Kimbrough in Eischied, and Dr. Van Adams on ABC’s primetime soap opera Paper Dolls. Sadly, Alan Fudge’s battle with liver and lung cancer ended on October 10, 2011. The actor died at 67.
A popular name and face in British television, Juliette Kaplan starred in one of the longest-running British sitcoms. She joined the cast of BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine in 1985. She played the iconic role of Pearl Sibshaw until the show’s last episode on August 29, 2010. Kaplan was a known chain smoker for most of her life. Juliette Kaplan died from cancer at her home in Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, England, on October 10, 2019. She was 80 years old at the time of her death.
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