Obituary Bits: This Week – Papa Smurf, Jason Voorhees, and Ephor #1

Papa Smurf voiced by Jonathan Winters in Columbia Pictures' THE SMURFS.Welcome to our newest feature in where we pay respects to the recent passings of some of our favorite fictional characters. Even though these characters may not have died in their fictional world, their real world “puppet masters” have. In this edition I have collected photographs, video clips, and formulated some brief epitaphs as a way of paying my respects to the contribution these characters have added to the cinematic landscape

Ephor #1 (Greg Kramer) RIP

006300_Greg_Kramer_001On April 8th, after living with HIV and having recently survived a bout with lung cancer, this brave and noble overseer of Sparta was found dead in his Montreal apartment. And you thought the pimpled-face elder lived in Sparta? I like to think that in some way his pep talk with the cocksured King Leonidas, who surprisingly looks a lot like that actor Gerard Butler, played some part in those 300 men defeating that freak show of a Persian army. Ephor #1, not only will all of Sparta miss you, but so will all fans of the 300, and so will Greg Kramer.

Jason Voorhees (Richard Brooker) RIP

richardbrookerSo, exactly how long does it take for one to die after spending a Friday night being attacked by bookshelves, knives, fireplace logs, shovels, and eventually an axe to the head? The answer, 31 years. Though the causes of this man’s death, which occurred on Monday the 8th (2013), are unknown, I find it hard to believe that they didn’t have something to do with the abuse he encountered on Friday the 13th (1982). Though there have been other lake side sightings of this misunderstood masked murderer, the incarnation of Jason as chronicled in Part III, is the one that most closely resembles the late actor Richard Brooker. To all those critics up in heaven – not counting Ebert, as he never reviewed Part III – it would do you best to arm yourselves. Here comes Jason!

Papa Smurf (Jonathan Winters)

jonathan-wintersOn Thursday, April 11th, due to natural causes, Papa Smurf’s voice was to be no more. The creator of this voice is survived by the entire Smurf community, the cinematic Flintstone community, as well as a slew of comedians to whom this voice was an inspiration to. Apparently this voice of Papa Smurf had also found its way into the great improvisational lungs of comedian, Jonathan Winters. This man’s voice has had an extensive career, appearing in too many cartoons, shows, and guest appearances, for me to list here, but if anyone has either seen the show Mork & Mindy, or the 1963 movie, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, than surely you would have heard it. It’s a voice that will no doubt be missed.

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