|12-09-2003, 05:01 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Florida, USA
Tragic news as David Hemmings, the veteran of over a hundred films, died suddenly last week. He was 62. Hemmings was filming a new film, SAMANTHA'S CHILD.
Hemmings gained attention when he was cast in Michelangelo Antonioni's BLOW-UP. He stole the show as an ultra-hip mod photographer who used his camera like an electric guitar and sexual organ, the toast of England. He became involved in a murder mystery involving Vanessa Redgrave. Antonioni's film was the toast in the day, but is far too overlooked in this day and age. In the 1960s, he gave what is undoubtedly the coolest performance of the coolest character in the Rogers and Hammerstein catalogue (take that, Brando!). I am talking about Mordred the fatal foil of Richard Harris' King Arthur in CAMELOT - "And there do seem to be a shortage of miracles in Camelot these days." Another one of my favorite films, he was featured in BARBARELLA as Dildano, the revolutionary who wasn't very organized.
But horror fans will likely remember him as the protagonist of Dario Argento's classic giallo, PROFONDO ROSSO (a.k.a. DEEP RED). He helped shape the idea of the flawed and unlikely giallo hero, showing a versitality and self-deprecating humor that would be sorely absent in later entries of the genre. Yes, this is one of the all time classic performances in horror, make no mistake about that.
Hemmings was also a prolific director of such films as THE TREASURE OF THE YANKEE ZEPHYR (an old favorite from my childhood) and THE KEY TO REBECCA. He also directed for such television shows as THE A-TEAM, AIRWOLF, QUANTUM LEAP, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, STINGRAY and the horror cult favorite, WEREWOLF. "People thought I was dead," Hemmings said of his TV career, "But I wasn't. I was just directing THE A-TEAM." He was also producer on such films as ESCAPE 2000 (a.k.a. TURKEY SHOOT) and STRANGE BEHAVIOR.
Recently, Hemmings had achieved a sort of career resurgence. In the last few years, having won the accolades of new talents and vets alike, he appeared in such notable films as GLADIATOR, SPY GAME, MEAN MACHINE, EQUILIBRIUM, GANGS OF NEW YORK and THE LEAGE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN.
Hemmings suffered a heart attack in Romania on the set of SAMANTHA'S CHILD. He is survived by five children. One of these, Nolan Hemmings, has become an actor in his own right, appearing in the HBO miniseries BAND OF BROTHERS.
DAVID HEMMINGS R.I.P.
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Scott W. Davis
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