The Inspiring Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Luminaries We Lost in 2022

The Inspiring Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Luminaries We Lost in 2022

io9 honors some of the notable creatives and creators we lost in 2022.

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Nichelle Nichols attends the Ovation TV premiere screening of Art Breakers on October 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Nichelle Nichols attends the Ovation TV premiere screening of Art Breakers on October 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Ovation (Getty Images)

This is a melancholy post io9 does every year—but it’s an important one, celebrating the actors, directors, artists, composers, writers, creators, and other icons in the realms of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy we lost this year. Their influence and inspiration lives on.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Angelo Badalamenti performs onstage during the David Lynch Foundation’s DLF Live presents “The Music Of David Lynch” on April 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Angelo Badalamenti performs onstage during the David Lynch Foundation’s DLF Live presents “The Music Of David Lynch” on April 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Neal Adams - Influential comic book legend known for his work with both DC and Marvel (Batman, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Green Lantern, and many more); he was also a noted artist advocate.

Kirstie Alley - Before her big sitcom breakout on Cheers, she played Spock’s Vulcan protege Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. She also starred in John Carpenter’s 1995 Village of the Damned remake.

Angelo Badalamenti - A composer and musician whose haunting creations will forever be associated with the work of David Lynch; his many credits include Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, and perhaps most indelibly Twin Peaks.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

James Caan arrives at the Amoeba Music Spring Tour to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at the Roxy May 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
James Caan arrives at the Amoeba Music Spring Tour to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at the Roxy May 16, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Neilson Barnard (Getty Images)

Greg Bear - Award-winning sci-fi novelist (the Forge of God series) and one of the founders of San Diego Comic-Con.

James Caan - Veteran, prolific actor; Oscar-nominated for The Godfather, his genre titles included Rollerball, Misery, and Elf.

Pat Carroll - Actor and comedian beloved by Disney fans for her vocal performance of Ursula, the villainous sea witch, in The Little Mermaid.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Kevin Conroy speaks during 2021 Los Angeles Comic Con at Los Angeles Convention Center on December 04, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Conroy speaks during 2021 Los Angeles Comic Con at Los Angeles Convention Center on December 04, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Chelsea Guglielmino (Getty Images)

Robbie Coltrane - Scottish actor perhaps best-known for playing Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies, with other credits including Krull, Van Helsing, From Hell, and a pair of James Bond films.

Coolio - His vast music career expanded to include acting roles, including appearances on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Futurama.

Kevin Conroy - The definitive voice of Batman, forever.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Jason David Frank checks out his Limited Edition Tokyo Vinyl Green Ranger at San Diego Comic-Con International on July 25, 2014 in San Diego, CA.
Jason David Frank checks out his Limited Edition Tokyo Vinyl Green Ranger at San Diego Comic-Con International on July 25, 2014 in San Diego, CA.
Photo: Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Saban Brands (Getty Images)

Julee Cruise - As the singer of the band at Twin Peaks’ favorite bar, the Roadhouse, her ethereal vocals backgrounded some of the cult David Lynch series’ most memorable scenes.

Ruggero Deodato - Influential Italian genre director and occasional actor whose oft-controversial filmography included Cannibal Holocaust—a direct inspiration for the “found-footage” horror craze; it also no doubt had a hand in his in-joke casting as “the Italian cannibal” in Eli Roth’s Hostel: Part II—and legendary “video nasty” The House at the Edge of the Park. He also made cult-favorite fantasy film The Barbarians.

Jason David Frank - A fan-favorite cast member of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, he played Tommy Oliver in multiple iterations of the long-running series.

Gilbert Gottfried - Distinctively voiced comedian whose many, many roles included the devious parrot Iago in Disney’s animated Aladdin (and its many spin-offs).

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Anne Heche arrives at Variety’s Power of Women on October 5, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.
Anne Heche arrives at Variety’s Power of Women on October 5, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Ron Goulart - His 180-plus (!) titles included his collaboration with William Shatner on the TekWar sci-fi series and 1970's acclaimed After Things Fell Apart.

Clu Gulager - Versatile character actor who any zombie fan will immediately recognize from The Return of the Living Dead, and any slasher fan will immediately recognize from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge.

Anne Heche - Though she was mostly known for dramatic roles in movies and TV, with a few romantic comedies sprinkled throughout her career, she also played Marion Crane in Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Psycho, and popped up in slasher classic I Know What You Did Last Summer.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

William Hurt attends the Amazon 2016 Summer TCA Press Tour on August 7, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.
William Hurt attends the Amazon 2016 Summer TCA Press Tour on August 7, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Amazon Studios (Getty Images)

Mike Hodges - A film director (Get Carter) whose genre credits included 1980's Flash Gordon and 1974's The Terminal Man; he also co-wrote 1978's Damien: Omen II.

William Hurt - Oscar-winning actor whose credits are too numerous to mention, but Marvel fans know him for his recurring role as Thaddeus Ross. Other notable genre performances included A.I Artificial Intelligence, The Village, and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood.

Aline Kominsky-Crumb - Groundbreaking underground comics artist and editor (Weirdo) who frequently drew on her own life for inspiration.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Angela Lansbury attends a special screening of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to celebrate the 25th Anniversary Edition release on September 18, 2016 in New York City.
Angela Lansbury attends a special screening of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to celebrate the 25th Anniversary Edition release on September 18, 2016 in New York City.
Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (Getty Images)

Wilko Johnson - A celebrated musician who favored playing “fingerstyle” rather than using a guitar pick, he makes the list of genre luminaries because of his unforgettable turn as Game of Thrones’ terrifying, tongue-less Ser Ilyn Payne—the royal executioner who lops off Ned Stark’s head.

Angela Lansbury - A film, television, and theater superstar whose career spanned eight decades, she was a Disney icon—Beauty and the Beast, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins Returnsand headlined the much-loved, long-running crime drama series Murder, She Wrote.

Ray Liotta - Though he was best-known for playing tough guys and gangsters in movies like GoodFellas, fans of magical baseball stories will always favor his performance as Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Meat Loaf performing, circa 1977.
Meat Loaf performing, circa 1977.
Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

Meat Loaf - The bombastic rock vocalist (Bat Out of Hell) carved out his place in cult-movie history by co-starring in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He also had a small but pivotal role in Fight Club.

Olivia Newton-John - The pop superstar turned actor starred in classic musical Grease, of course, but also appeared in cult-beloved epic rollerskating fantasy Xanadu.

Nichelle Nichols - Her role as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek was a breakthrough for Black women on television—and she used her popularity as a sci-fi hero to inspire budding scientists and champion diversity at NASA.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

 Ivan Reitman attends the Ghostbusters: Afterlife world premiere on November 15, 2021 in New York City.
Ivan Reitman attends the Ghostbusters: Afterlife world premiere on November 15, 2021 in New York City.
Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Sony Pictures (Getty Images)

George Pérez - An acclaimed comics writer and artist, his legacy includes an extensive array of both Marvel and DC titles, though he was perhaps best-known for two DC collaborations with Marv Wolfman: The New Teen Titans and Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Wolfgang Peterson - After making an Academy Award-nominated breakthrough with submarine drama Das Boot, the director had a lengthy career that included some notable genre films, including The NeverEnding Story and Enemy Mine. He also made the eerie prescient Outbreak.

Ivan Reitman - His illustrious career of mostly comedy films (heavy on the Bill Murray, though Arnold Schwarzenegger was also a repeat collaborator) included Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II; he also produced Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was directed by his son, Jason Reitman.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Douglas Trumbull attends a presentation by AMPAS of the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences May 21, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.
Douglas Trumbull attends a presentation by AMPAS of the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences May 21, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo: Stephen Shugerman (Getty Images)

Tim Sale - A DC Comics artist most known for his work on Batman, including his acclaimed collaboration with writer Jeph Loeb, Batman: The Long Halloween.

Peter Straub - A decorated horror author whose titles included Ghost Story—which was made into an acclaimed film starring Fred Astaire and Melvyn Douglas—Julia, and The Talisman (the latter co-written with Stephen King).

Douglas Trumbull - Special effects legend whose talent brought movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Blade Runner to innovative new heights. He was also a feature film director, helming Silent Running and Brainstorm.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Evangalos Papathanassiou, better known as Vangelis, records a song with a group of children.
Evangalos Papathanassiou, better known as Vangelis, records a song with a group of children.
Photo: Fred Mott (Getty Images)

Joe Turkel - A veteran character actor instantly recognizable to genre fans for two iconic roles: replicant tycoon Tyrell in Blade Runner and Lloyd the bartender in The Shining.

Vangelis - Innovative composer whose standout soundtrack scores included Blade Runner and his Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire.

Tom Veitch - One of the vanguards of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, he wrote the highly influential Dark Horse comic series Star Wars: Dark Empire as well as Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi.

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

David Warner at his home in London on December 12, 1966.
David Warner at his home in London on December 12, 1966.
Photo: Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Jimmy Wang Yu - Decorated martial arts actor whose impressive array of films included the One-Armed Swordsman series, The Chinese Boxer, Master of the Flying Guillotine, and Once Upon a Time in China.

Fred Ward - Versatile actor with a lengthy resume that included the much-loved creature feature Tremorsas well as its sequel, which focused on his character.

David Warner - He played a good guy in The Omen, but the imposing actor’s turns as Jack the Ripper in Time After Time and literal Evil in Time Bandits helped cement him as a memorable villain. Other genre credits include two Star Trek movies (parts V and VI), Twin Peaks, Doctor Who, In the Mouth of Madness, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

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