Greetings from the Odinson,
The Odinson would like to take a moment to remember those who unfortunately passed away in 2021. These people made an impact on the zeitgeist of modern day pop culture and in many cases brought so much joy and entertainment to us.
Here in no particular order are pop culture heroes, personalities, and icons we lost in 2021 and a brief description of what they meant to the Odinson.
2021 The Year in Review: Remembering: Part 1 of 3
Tanya Roberts – Every boy who grew up in the 80s knows exactly who Tanya Roberts is. And like the Odinson, I imagine most of them were introduced to her when she appeared in the classic fantasy film The Beastmaster. She followed that up as Stacey Sutton in A View to a Kill, the 14th James Bond film, and her portrayal as the comic book jungle queen Sheena. She was even one of Charlie’s Angels in the last season of the classic show. And modern day audiences will remember her as Midge from That 70’s Show.
Marion Ramsey – Officer Hooks from the Police Academy franchise. Known for her mousy demeanor until all the chips were on the table and she’d deliver the memorable 80s catchphrase that would freeze even the most hardened criminal in his tracks – “DON’T MOVE, DIRTBAG!”
Tommy Lasorda – A baseball icon. He played in the Majors then went on to manage the L.A. Dodgers for 20 years. He won two World Series and would go on to become practically synonymous with the sport itself.
Julie Strain – A 90s video store femme fatale. Even her small roles were memorable in classics like Out for Justice starring Steven Seagal and Double Impact starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. She also provided the voice and was the model for the main protagonist for the animated feature Heavy Metal 2000. On a comic book related note, she was married for a time to Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Siegfried Fischbacher – The other half of the world famous magician duo Siegfried and Roy. Roy Horn passed away in 2020.
Peter Mark Richman – One of those character actors that you recognize the moment you see him because of the almost overwhelming amount of television and film he has appeared in. He’s had roles in such pop culture royalty as The Outer Limits, The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Friday the 13th: Part VIII, and more.
Larry King – On the short list of names for the Mount Rushmore of great interviewers in history, an art that so few master, it would be hard not to include King on that list.
Henry Aaron – Hammering Hank Aaron is the greatest home run hitter in the history of Baseball and one of the best athletes to ever play the game. His legendary accomplishments speak for themselves – .300+ career batting average, 20+ All-Star appearance, Gold Gloves, a ring, etc. He finished his career with 755 home runs, a record that stood for over 30 years! Many would argue that record still stands. Hank Aaron is a name that resonates across generations. He is an icon of baseball, professional sports, and Americana.
Leon Spinks – Professional boxer who won the gold medal in the 1976 Olympics and the Heavyweight Title in 1978 against Muhammad Ali! Though he lost to Ali in a rematch later that year, Spinks is the only man to defeat and take the title away from Ali in the ring.
Christopher Plummer – An Actor whose career spans seven decades. He appeared in cinema classics like The Sound of Music (1965), Malcolm X (1992), and A Beautiful Mind (2001); cult classics like The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), Vampire in Venice (1986), and 12 Monkeys (1995); and Odinson personal favorites like Dreamscape (1984), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), and Wolf (1994).
S. Clay Wilson – Part of the 1960s counter culture, Wilson worked with other underground legends like Robert Crumb (Fritz the Cat) and Gilbert Shelton (The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers) on the underground comic Zap Comix.
Rush Limbaugh – One of the biggest names in political talk show personalities. Even if you aren’t on one side or the other nor follow politics closely, chances are, whether for good or ill, you have heard the name Rush Limbaugh.
Frank Thorne – Longtime comic artist known for his work on Jungle Jim, Flash Gordon, Playboy, and Heavy Metal Magazine. But he is probably most notable for his long run on Marvel’s Red Sonja series, even becoming as synonymous with the She-Devil with a Sword as John Buscema is with Conan the Barbarian.
Marvelous Marvin Hagglar – He was the undisputed Middleweight Champion in the 80s and is considered one of the greatest boxers of All-Time. I remember as a kid a series of incredible bouts that involved Sugar Ray Leonard, Hitman Thomas Hearns, and the Marvelous One that are still standout boxing memories for me to this day.
Yaphet Kotto – Anyone who has battled James Bond (in Live and Let Die), the Xenomorph (in Alien), the Stalkers (in The Running Man), and Freddy Krueger (in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare) is one tough cookie and a Made Man in my book.
David Anthony Kraft – Long before the internet and Wizard Magazine there was Comics Interview. Kraft was a prolific contributor to this magazine about the industry conducting interviews and writing columns and critiques. The Odinson knows him best for his work at Marvel and DC Comics, especially his great run on the original non-team of heroes – The Defenders.
There is 19 names of people who had a profound effect on pop culture, and the Odinson. Next week, I continue my list of remembrance with more people we lost too soon.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell
NOTE: For past entries of the So Sayeth the Odinson blog, over a decade’s worth of comic book and pop culture articles and reviews, click HERE. Also, be sure to check out my novels The Survivors and Autumn Dawn, which were inspired by 1980s horror – HERE and HERE