Veteran character actor Ian Abercrombie died January 26th at the age of 77. A long time theater actor, it wasn’t until the late 1950’s that he begun work on both TV and film here. His second wind came in the late 1970s when he started working steadily in genre projects like the original Battlestar Galactica, Ice Pirates , Warlock, Puppet Master III, Twin Peaks, Army of Darkness, Adams Family Values, Babylon 5, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Birds of Prey, where he played Alfred. He also provided voice work for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and last year’s Johnny Depp animated film Rango. His last projects include a recurring role on the recently ended Disney series The Wizards of Waverly Place.
His was born Christopher Samuel Youd, but he was known as a prolific author who published novels under the name John Christopher. His several science fiction novels including The Swords of the Spirits Trilogy, The Fireball Trilogy and –at least here- The Tripod Trilogy. The author, who died at the age of 89 in the UK on February 3, also published titles under his own name, but also several pseudonyms including Stanley Winchester, Hilary Ford, William Godfrey, William Vine, Peter Graaf, Peter Nichols, and Anthony Rye. But The Tripods was his most well-known series, published in 1967 and 1968, it was turned into a BBC TV series back in the 1984 and 1985 (a third season based on the 3rd book was in the works, but it never went forward). He published a prequel in 1988. Disney has been developing a movie version for some time.