The Faces of AIDS: 1994 -- A tribute to those in the entertainment industry who died from AIDS in the past year
Because of AIDS, Randy Shilts will never write another book like And the Band Played On. Because of AIDS, there will be no reunion of The Real World, part three. And because of AIDS, Emile Ardolino will never direct a movie as bittersweet as Dirty Dancing. And that’s just a glimpse of what the entertainment industry has lost this past year to the epidemic.
To mark World AIDS Day and the 6th Annual International Day Without Art on Dec. 1, Entertainment Weekly again publishes “The Faces of AIDS,” a tribute to those in the entertainment industry who have died from the virus.
The loss of 28,642 Americans between July of ’93 and June of ’94 (the most recent figures available from the Centers for Disease Control), including more than a hundred of entertainment’s rising stars, leaves us with one message: We need to do more.
Hollywood, overcoming its earlier reluctance, is becoming a leader in the fight against AIDS. Consider this: Four years ago, only independent features dealt with AIDS; in March, Tom Hanks received an Oscar for his portrayal of an AIDS patient in Philadelphia. Last season, Fox’s Melrose Place shied way from showing a kiss between Matt, the series’ gay character, and a friend. Recently, it introduced a story line for Matt focusing on a beau who is HIV-positive. And of course there was MTV, which helped break barriers by including the HIV-positive Pedro Zamora in the third installment of The Real World. Moreover, industry moguls like Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen, Barry Diller, and Sid Sheinberg have joined such AIDS activist performers as Elizabeth Taylor to back organizations like AMFAR, Hollywood Supports, and AIDS Project Los Angeles.
But these leaders would be the first to admit there’s more to be done. In this spirit, Entertainment Weekly looks forward to a time when Dec. 1 again will be just the first day of the month.
Nov. 14,1994, age 40
Actor in the NBC sitcom We Got It Made. Also appeared in the movies In the Army Now and My Girl
Nov. 11, 1994, age 22
AIDS activist who starred in MTV’s newest The Real World. He died the day after the last episode aired.
November 6, 1994, age 30
Second assistant director for several Amblin Entertainment productions, including Hook and TV’s Earth 2.
Nov. 5, 1994, age 37
English stage actor. In London, he appeared as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera and as Che in Evita.
May 3, 1994, age 36
Actor. His numerous film and TV credits include Star Trek 6, Roadhouse, The Doors, and Roc.
Nov. 2, 1994, age 37
Writer. His current book is Queer and Loathing: Rants and Raves of a Raging AIDS Clone.
Oct. 28, 1994, age 43
Accountant who worked most recently for Warner Bros. Pictures and formerly for Twentieth Century Fox.
Oct. 10, 1994, age 44
Publicist whose clients included Cloris Leachman, Della Reese, and the Pointer Sisters.
Oct. 7, 1994, age 60
Actor best known for roles in John Waters’ films. He played the eggman in the cult classic Pink Flamingos.
Oct. 7, 1994, age 39
Coauthor of Inside Oscar with Damien Bona, and sometime contributor to Entertainment Weekly.
RICHARD CHARLES BOLLIG
Oct. 6, 1994, age 51
Musician and choral singer. He was an accompanist for Alvin Ailey and a singer with the New York Philharmonic.
Oct. 4, 1994, age 32
Publicity photo manager for all programs on Fox Broadcasting.
Oct. 1, 1994, age 43
Actor on TV’s The Guiding Light who also appeared in Longtime Companion. He recently became a psychotherapist.
Sept. 27, 1994, age 35
Project coordinator for studio operations at the Walt Disney Studios.
Sept. 27, 1994, age 36
Production stage manager for the Old Globe Theater in San Diego.
Sept. 24, 1994, age 29
Dancer for the Paul Taylor Dance Company in New York City from 1985 until last year.
DAVID ROSS STUMP
Sept. 23, 1994, age 40
Stage actor who appeared on TV in Dallas, The Jesse Owens Story, and The Long Hot Summer.
Sept. 23, 1994, age 36
Hair and makeup artist on stage shows (Madonna’s Girlie Show) and films (Romeo is Bleeding).
Sept. 17, 1994, age 58
Music librarian for 17 years of the performing arts collection of the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center.
Sept. 16, 1994
Hair and makeup artist who worked with Cher, Prince, and Tina Turner. Also a fashion designer.
ROGER SAMUEL DOPP
Sept. 15, 1994, age 33
Production coordinator on America’s Funniest People.
Sept. 10, 1994, age 41
Music producer and artists’ rep. His corporate clients included Amnesty International and the Glenn Gould Foundation.
Sept. 7, 1994, age 36
Vice president of business development for MCS/ Universal’s theme parks and family entertainment.
Sept. 6, 1994, age 41
Author of books on gay life including I Look Divine (Ticknor & Fields) and Such Times. (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)
JAMES F. JACOBS
Sept. 3, 1994, age 42
Dance. A featured soloist with the Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater from 1977 to 1982.
Sept. 2, 1994, age 48
Playwright. Credits include the AIDS drama The Smoking Room and the documentary Our Sisters Are Dying.
Aug. 29, 1994, age 46
Tony-and Emmy-award-winning director and choreographer, credited for the moves in “Thriller” and Dreamgirls.
MICHAEL STUART SHERE
Aug. 28, 1994, age 47
Theatrical-lighting designer whose work includes the L.A. production of Present Laughter. Also a playwright.
Aug. 28, 1994, age 54
Charter member of the Dance Theater of Harlem and artistic director of its school.
JAMES E. SKINNER JR.
Aug. 27, 1994, age 35
Dancer and actor. Appeared in the Judd’s video, “Working in the Coal Mine.” President of the Ginger Rogers fan club.
Aug. 23, 1994, Age 58
Actor and stage manager. Toured nationally with Oliver and managed the L.A. production of The Mad Show.
Aug. 22, 1994, age 40
Broadway stage manager; his credits include Oh, Kay! and The Heidi Chronicles.
Aug. 22, 1993, age 36
Actor on TV’s Knots Landing and Dynasty and in New York’s Circle in the Square production of The Killing Game.
DANTE FRANK ELIA
Aug. 21, 1994, age 31
Set floral designer for film and TV.
Aug. 14, 1994, age 59
Director and Emmy-award-winning choreographer of PBS’s Zoom. Also choreographed Bubbling Brown Sugar.
Aug. 12, 1994, age 51
Film historian and director of the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival.
Aug. 11, 1994, age 33
Jazz pianist who was named 1993 Jazz Artist of the Year by the Houston Jazz Festival.
Aug. 11, 1994, age 31
Founder of Coyote Productions, which produced the touring comedies Road Kill Comedy and Shut up and Laugh.
Aug. 7, 1994, age 55
Administrator, dancer, and choreographer of the Elle Johnson Dance Co. in Los Angeles.
Aug. 6, 1994, age 51
Photographer and author of three books. As a filmmaker, he collaborated with Ellen Burstyn and Lee Strasberg.
Aug. 3, 1994, age 53
Violinist with the Vermeer Quartet based at Northern Illinois University, where he was also a professor of music.
RON W. DITTMAN
July 16, 1994, age 35
Film location manager based in Los Angeles.
July 16, 1994, age 34
Talent agent representing film and TV composers at the Carol Faith Agency.
July 15, 1994, age 44
Public relations executive with Rogers & Cowan.
July 15, 1994, age 46
Los Angeles-based actor, singer, and dancer.
July 13, 1994, age 44
Senior vice president and assistant general counsel for HBO.
JAMES CARROLL PICKETT
July 4, 1994, age 43
Playwright of Bathhouse Benediction, Dream Man, and Queen of Angels. Also a teacher at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
July 1, 1994, age 34
Singer in New York City cabarets; a member of Hearts & Voices, a volunteer group that performs in hospitals.
June 30, 1994, age 35
Musician and talent coordinator at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
June 29, 1994, age 33
Music archivist. Served as a consultant on the Tina Turner movie, What’s Love Got To Do With It.
June 29, 1994, age 36
Poet, dancer with the Martha Graham company, and playwright. Appeared in Marlon Riggs’ No Regrets.
June 28, 1994, age 38
Broadway press agent. Handled publicity for Cats, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, and others.
June 27, 1994, age 40
Singer and pianist. Composed the score for two Peanuts touring shows.
June 26, 1994, age 58
Personal manager and casting director responsible for the original casting of the ABC soap opera Loving.
June 25, 1994, age 45
Company manager for Broadway productions, including Foxfire and Fifth of July.
June 22, 1994, age 67
Dancer and stage manager. Performing credits include The King and I. Managed The Boys in the Band.
June 21, 1994, age 38
Group editor at DC Comics. Designed posters for Lincoln Center’s Speed the Plow and Six Degrees of Separation.
STEVEN BOONE WEBSTER
June 1, 1994, age 48
Musician and long time employee of Universal Studios. Also performed with the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
JOHN MICHAEL RIES
May 30, 1994, age 43
Screenwriter who cowrote Ghost Hunter, Jeepers, and Born to Be Wild.
May 30, 1994, age 51
Vice president of postproduction for syndication at Columbia TriStar Television Distribution.
May 29, 1994, age 50
Press agent for the Martha Graham Dance Company, among others.
MARK RANDALL WICKS
May 29, 1994, age 43
Marketing executive for films. He created ad campaigns for Tootsie, Gandhi, A Soldier’s Story, and others.
May 27, 1994, age 43
Creator of movie trailers and TV commercials.
May 25, 1994, age 52
Artist, author and set designer. He created the front curtain for the Joffrey Ballet’s 1980 production of Postcards.
May 22, 1994, age 42
Writer for daytime TV and specials. He worked at CBS from 1979 until 1986.
May 18, 1994, age 61
Writer for TV sitcoms. His credits include Maude, Head of the Class, and The Dukes of Hazzard.
May 17, 1994, age 47
Dancer and archivist who founded Character Generators, a performance videotaping company.
ERNEST KERNS JR.
May 16, 1994, age 31
Manager with Freedman & Associates, representing writers and directors. Also a producer on the film Safe.
May 15, 1994
Gossip columnist. As one of the Hollywood Kids, appeared frequently in Movieline magazine and on the Joan Rivers Show.
May 8, 1994, age 36
Dancer with the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane company, and a professor of dance at University of Texas in Austin.
May 6, 1994, age 68
Actor and founding member of the Actors Studio. His first role was on Broadway in 1949 in South Pacific.
May 3, 1994, age 36
Actor. His numerous film and TV credits include Star Trek 6, Roadhouse, The Doors, and Roc.
May 3, 1994, age 36
Vice president of rental marketing for Buena Vista Home Video.
May 1, 1994, age 40
Principal performer with the Pacific Ballet in San Francisco. Founder of New York City’s Contemporary Ballet Company.
April 30, 1994, age 42
Oscar-nominee for set decoration in the movie Chaplin. Other credits include Postcards From the Edge and L.A. Story.
April 29, 1994, age 57
A New York-based actor who appeared on TV and Off Broadway. A member of the Roundabout Theatre Company.
JOSEPH LOPEZ JR.
April 28, 1994, age 15
Coauthor of I Will Sing Life: Voices From the Hole in the Wall, about children with life-threatening diseases.
April 28, 1994, age 48
Author and editor of more than 30 books. Also a gay activist and founder of Minneapolis’ Gay House.
April 25, 1994, age 41
Musical director of such Broadway shows as the current Damn Yankees; a cousin of John Raitt, Bonnie’s father.
JOHN C. RUSSELL
April 22, 1994 age 31
Playwright and chairman of the Circle Repertory theater board in New York City.
ZIAD OMAR BAKI
April 20, 1994, age 29
Senior account executive at the publicity firm of Baker Winokur Ryder. Clients included Faith Ford and Ray Liotta.
April 16, 1994, age 45
Actor best known for the stage piece Roy Cohn/Jack Smith. Also appeared in Philadelphia and Internal Affairs.
April 15, 1994, age 44
Figure skater and gold-medal winner at the 1976 Olympics; producer and star of London’s John Curry Theater of Skating.
April 14, 1994, age 43
Actor, dancer, and singer who appeared on Broadway in A Chorus Line and on TV in Roseanne and Santa Barbara.
April 14, 1994, age 28
Dancer who performed with the Feld Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, and the Oregon Ballet Theatre.
April 9, 1994, age 36
Journalist and theater writer for The Village Voice. Also founding editor of The Body Positive, an AIDS newsletter.
April 7, 1994, age 39
Costume designer. Credits include Star Trek III and IV. Also the men’s wardrobe supervisor on TV’s Step By Step.
RUSSELL TODD SMITH
April 6, 1994, age 36
Hair stylist for theater as well as TV’s The Jackie Thomas Show and Elvis and Me.
April 5, 1994, age 37
Award-winning documentary filmmaker. His controversial Tongues Untied aired on PBS in 1990.
TARIK THOMAS WHELPLEY
April 2, 1994, age 32
Staff publicist for Universal Pictures’ international division. Credits include the Back to the Future sequels.
March 21, 1994, age 52
Actor who appeared in daytime soap operas, as well as Dallas, Paper Dolls, and The Guns of Will Sonnett.
March 21, 1994, age 30
Former assistant to Danielle Steel and employee in the entertainment law firm Bloom, Dekom, Hergott & Cook.
March, 16, 1994, age 39
Award-winning playwright (The Houseguest). Also a novelist, his Diary of a Lost Boy examines the ravages of AIDS.
March 16, 1994, age 44
Actor who performed solo shows, including A Visitation from John Keats.
March 11, 1994, age 44
Dancer and teacher of Afro-Brazilian dance who headed his eponymous dance troop in New York.
PAUL A. SERGIOS
March 6, 1994 age 32
Author who wrote about alternative medical therapies in the book One Boy at War: My Life in the AIDS Underground.
DONALD R. LYNN
March 6, 1994, age 54
Photographer specializing in album covers. Also a former model.
March 5,1994, age 45
Singer on variety shows hosted by Ed Sullivan, Bing Crosby, and Bob Hope. Also appeared in TV commercials.
Feb. 28, 1994, age 39
Talent agent whose clients included B.D. Wong, Carole King, Nicol Williamson, and Ally Sheedy.
Feb. 28, 1994, age 50
Dancer and choreographer with the San Francisco Ballet, which he joined in 1975.
Feb. 28, 1994, age 45
Singer, actor and activist. His credits include the film Voices From the Front and Broadway’s The Robber Bridegroom.
VICTOR LEO HEINEMAN
Feb. 27, 1994, age 40
Dancer appearing in television, movies, and nightclubs. Credits include the films Annie and Grease.
Feb. 19, 1994, age 52
Radical British film-maker, author, and painter. He described his own experience with AIDS in the movie Blue.
Feb. 17, 1994, age 42
Author of the best-selling …And the Band Played On, he was among the first journalists to write on the AIDS crisis.
Feb. 12, 1994, age 31
Broadway stage manager whose credits include the recent production of She Loves Me and Oh! Calcutta.
Feb. 10, 1994, age 41
Assistant production accountant on the movies Navy SEALS, Midnight Run, and The Good Son.
Feb. 19, 1994, age 41
Actor with numerous TV credits including Quantum Leap, L.A. Law, Dynasty, and Hill Street Blues.
Feb. 3, 1994, age 50
Canadian artist and member of the group General Idea, which redesigned Robert Indiana’s Love into an AIDS symbol.
Jan. 28, 1994, age 32
Director of creative development for WNET-TV in New York.
Jan.27, 1994 age 45
Veteran character actor who appeared on L.A. Law, as well as in the movies For the Boys and Mr. Saturday Night.
Jan. 27, 1994, age 34
Publicist and film historian. He created L.A.’s Classic Movie Night, honoring such performers as Ginger Rogers.
Jan. 21, 1994, age 43
Founder of the Design Industries Foundation for AIDS. Also a founding member of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
PHILIP DWAYNE LABHART
Jan. 18, 1994, age 38
Owned the Labhart Production Group, a production and editing facility for commercials.
DR. STEPHEN KRITSICK
Jan. 16, 1994, age 42
The veterinarian and author who often appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to talk about pet care.
JAN.12, 1994, age 58
Dancer and choreographer for stage and television. He appeared in the films Hello, Dolly and Man Trouble.
Jan. 10, 1994, age 40
Award-winning graphic designer for Details and Spy magazines.
Jan. 7, 1994, age 37
Thirteen year veteran of the Screen Actors Guild, where he became the national director of communications.
Jan. 4,1994, age 56
Agent, manager, and producer. His clients included Richard Gere, Jeffrey Tambor, and Lesley Ann Warren.
Dec.27, 1993, age 32
Comedian and actress who appeared in TV’s Cast a Deadly Spell and Comic Strip Live.
Dec. 27,1993, age 38
Activist, author,and singer. Also a member of the gay a capella group the Flirtations, featured in Philadelphia.
BRUCE PEYTON Dec.25,1993, age 44
New York-based playwright whose work was produced Off Broadway and in regional theaters.
Dec. 24, 1993, age 51
Cuban-born realist painter, he taught at New York City’s School of Visual Arts Juan Gonzalez.
DARRELL YATES RIST
Dec. 23, 1993, age 45
Author and journalist who cofounded the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Dec. 22,1993, age 68
Acting teacher, director, and playwright. Founded and ran the Off Broadway acting studio, Dramarena.
DANIEL JAMES MESSETT
Dec.18, 1993, age 34
Choreographer and dancer who taught dance at UCLA. He appeared in the movies C.H.U.D. II and Fatal Beauty.
Dec. 12, 1993, age 58
Actor and astrologer. He had recurring roles in TV’s All My Children, Knots Landing, and Another World.
Dec. 10, 1993, age 40
Dancer and dance writer. A member of the corps de ballet of companies in Portland, San Francisco, and Cleveland.
Dec. 6,1993, age 36
Director of business affairs for Concorde-New Horizons, a film production and distribution company.
Dec. 5, 1993, age 41
Director, actor, and drama instructor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
PETER ALAN GLOO
Dec. 3, 1993, age 37
Pianist and singer who helped establish Hearts & Voices, a group that entertains AIDS patients in New York hospitals.
Nov. 26, 1993, age 43
A muralist whose work appeared in magazines, and a co-founder of a meal program for the People With AIDS Coalition.
Nov. 20, 1993, age 50
Director of Dirty Dancing and Sister Act, he won an Oscar for his ’83 documentary He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’.
Nov. 18, 1993, age 46
Actor who appeared in the Broadway production of Torch Song Trilogy as well as the film version of A Chorus Line.
SPENCER HENDERSON III
Nov. 14, 1993, age 44
Broadway dancer and choreographer. Credits include Steel Magnolias, Footloose, and TV’s The Love Boa.
JOHN A. AVANT
Nov. 13, 1993, age 48
Librarian who contributed reviews to Gaysweek and wrote for The New Republic, among others.
Nov. 4,1993 age 39
Writer, reporter, and video columnist for Daily Variety. Also cofounder of the AIDS Action Committee.
Aug. 31, 1994, age 40
They say that until it hits home, people think of AIDS as someone else’s problem. The full force of that truism hit Entertainment Weekly this summer, when associate editor Mark Carson, 40, a creative and courageous member of our staff, died of complications from the virus. Mark came to EW in 1990, but he already had had a colorful career. Raised in Pittsburgh, Mark earned a BA from Geneva College and an MFA from the University of Denver. After winning a small role in George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, he moved to Manhattan in 1980 to pursue acting. Parts in Off Broadway plays followed, as did gigs as an editor at Time, Us, and 7 Days. He also became increasingly involved in AIDS activism, and was particularly proud of his arrest at an ACT UP protest.
Mark’s love of the arts made him a natural addition to our staff, but his “real vocation was making friends,” says one colleague. He had a knack for it. Friends gathered round in the office each morning as Mark held court, sharing his thoughts on the latest movie or show that he had seen. His heartbreaking battle with the virus left his body ravaged, but his spirit intact. And as the months went by, Mark became an inspiration to us, an encouragement to do something — anything — to make a difference.
Many EW staffers were among the 200 friends and family who gathered in October to celebrate Mark’s life and spirit at the Players Club in Manhattan (we think he would have loved that setting). What’s left now is a terrible sense of loss — for Mark, yes, and for the thousands of other bright, young, creative people who have succumbed to the virus. That feeling will never leave home.