Johnny Lewis: Sons of Anarchy actor falls to his death after allegedly killing octagenarian landlady
Johnny Lewis, best known for playing Kip ‘Half Sack’ Epps in the FX series Sons of Anarchy, died on Wednesday, Sept. 26, after falling off the roof of a home in the Los Angeles suburb of Los Feliz.
Shortly before his fatal fall, Lewis had allegedly strangled the 81-year-old landlady at their residence nearby. Johnny Lewis was 28.
Born in Los Angeles (on Oct. 29, 1983), Lewis worked mostly on television. In addition to Sons of Anarchy, he had recurring roles in The O.C., Quintuplets, and American Dreams. Guest roles included those in The Guardian, Judging Amy, Criminal Minds, and Cold Case.
Johnny Lewis movies
Johnny Lewis appeared in only 11 movies since his 2004 feature-film debut in a supporting role in Sean McNamara’s Raise Your Voice, starring Hilary Duff. Lewis’ other film credits include Colin Strause and Greg Strause’s sci-fi thriller AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem (2007); Brad Leong’s ensemble comedy-drama Palo Alto, CA (2007); and Floria Sigismondi’s The Runaways (2010), supporting Kristen Stewart (as rocker Joan Jett) and Dakota Fanning (as Cherie Currie).
According to the IMDb, Johnny Lewis’ last movie was Camilo Vila’s 186 Dollars to Get Out, the story of a California surfer (John Robinson) incarcerated in a Peruvian political prison in the early ’80s.
Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter on Johnny Lewis’ death
Johnny Lewis, reportedly unhappy with Sons of Anarchy, left the FX show after its 2009 season. Earlier today, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter posted the following on the social-media site Whosay:
“It was a tragic end for an extremely talented guy, who unfortunately had lost his way. I wish I could say that I was shocked by the events last night, but I was not. I am deeply sorry that an innocent life had to be thrown into his destructive path.”
Kurt Sutter quote via TheWrap.
“Sons of Anarchy Johnny Lewis Dead” photo: FX.
Steve Sabol: NFL Films producer dead at 69
Steve Sabol, an NFL Films multitasker who helped to increase the popularity of pro-football TV viewership in the United States, died at age 69 in Moorestown, New Jersey.
Founded by Ed Sabol (Steve’s father) in 1962, NFL Films added cinematic tricks – e.g., slow motion, an orchestral score – to the televised depiction of American football. According to the New York Times, NFL won 107 sports Emmy Awards, including two this year, “Steve Sabol was cited by name on more than a third.”
NFL Films: Sam Peckinpah / The Wild Bunch influence?
Though a television sports show producer, Steve Sabol and his NFL Films have an important place in film history if the Times obit is to be believed. According to the report, Sam Peckinpah got the idea to use slow-motion in a climactic action scene in his ultra-violent, epoch-making 1969 Western The Wild Bunch after watching a Super Bowl highlights film made by Sabol.
Now, although the “Steve Sabol NFL Films connection” is certainly a possibility, two years before The Wild Bunch came out, slow motion had been used to emphasize violent action in the climax of Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde. Additionally, Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, reportedly an inspiration for Sam Peckinpah’s film, had also made use of the slow-motion technique in action scenes back in 1954.
Movie producer Jake Eberts dead at 71
Movie producer Jake Eberts, whose credits (as executive producer) include Best Picture Oscar winners Gandhi, Driving Miss Daisy, and Dances with Wolves, died Thursday morning (Sept. 6) in Montreal, following a “brief illness.” Eberts was 71.
According to The Montreal Gazette, the Montreal-born Eberts financed or produced more than 50 films. The IMdb lists 38 Jake Eberts producing credits, most of which in the capacity of executive producer.
His credits as “producer” include Roland Joffé’s poorly received box office disappointment City of Joy, starring Patrick Swayze and Pauline Collins; the game-based flick Super Mario Bros., with Bob Hoskins, Dennis Hopper, and John Leguizamo; and Richard Friedenberg’s television movie Snow in August, featuring Stephen Rea and Lolita Davidovich.
Jake Eberts: Prestigious Goldcrest Films
Jake Eberts is also notable for having founded the British-based Goldcrest Films, the company that helped to finance low-budget but critically acclaimed productions such as Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero, starring Hollywood veteran Burt Lancaster; Roland Joffé’s Oscar-nominated political drama The Killing Fields, with Sam Waterston and Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Haing S. Ngor; John Boorman’s Oscar-nominated World War II “comedy” Hope and Glory; and the animated feature Chicken Run.
The company floundered in the mid-’80s following expensive box office flops such as Joffe’s Oscar-nominated The Mission, starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons, and Hugh Hudson’s widely panned historical drama Revolution, starring Al Pacino, Nastassja Kinski, and Donald Sutherland.
Other Jake Eberts film credits under various producing capacities include Peter Bogdanovich’s Texasville, with Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd; Peter Yates’ The Dresser, with Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay; Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It, with Brad Pitt; and Peter Weir’s box office dud The Way Back, with Ed Harris and Colin Farrell.
As per The Gazette, Eberts’ most recent project was the IMAX 3D documentary Jerusalem (not listed on the IMdb), to come out in 2013.
Stephen Dunham, TV actor, dead at 48
Stephen Dunham, best known for his roles in the television series DAG, What I Like About You, and Hot Properties, died of a heart attack in Burbank (approx. 19 km north of downtown Los Angeles) on Monday, Sept. 17. The Boston native had turned 48 three days earlier. [Addendum: According to several sources, Dunham died on Sept. 13.]
Among Dunham’s other television appearances were those in the series Oh, Grow Up, The Chronicle, D.O.T.S. Last year, he guested in Hot in Cleveland.
Stephen Dunham movies
In addition to his TV work, Dunham was featured in about a dozen films, almost invariably in minor roles. Those include The Mummy (1999), with Brendan Fraser; Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic (2000), with Michael Douglas, Benicio Del Toro, and Catherine Zeta-Jones; Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can (2002), with Leonardo DiCaprio; and the comedy Monster-in-Law, starring Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, and Michael Vartan.
As per the IMDb, Stephen Dunham’s last movie was Oliver Stone’s drug mafia drama Savages, which opened last July in North America.
Dunham was married to actress Alexondra Lee, among whose credits are the TV series Party of Five and Special Unit 2.