Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lisa Blount (1957 - 2010)

The AP is now reporting the death of Academy-Award winning filmmaker and actress Lisa Blount, at age 53. 

Blount may not be a household name to some, but in the horror genre, this talented actress remains beloved and remembered for her starring turns in 1980s films including John Carpenter's criminally-underrated  Prince of Darkness (1987) and Nightflyers (1987). 

In Prince of Darkness, the soulful Blount really made a tremendous and lasting impression as vulnerable and lost Catherine Danforth, a graduate student seeking meaning and attachment in the modern world.   Catherine's  final, heroic sacrifice in that film saved a human race she never felt fully connected to, and also provides the Carpenter movie a last, ferocious kick before end credits roll. 

Whenever I think of Blount, I always think of Catherine Danforth's final appearance in the film: eclipsed in the shadows, emerging from that creepy Los Angeles church, and the words echoing on the soundtrack -- a transmission from the future -- "This is a message from the year 1 9 9 9..."   

In this Carpenter film, Blount was the perfect 1980s embodiment of the archetypal Hawks woman: tough and resourceful; but also a little sad.  Heroic, but on a very human, very identifiable scale. 

Lisa Blount also had a long and distinguished history in genre TV, having made guest appearances on the anthology The Hitchhiker ("One Last Prayer") and Starman in 1986 ("Secrets").  Another role that showcased Blount's tough exterior and vulnerable inner self came in Moonlighting's "Sleep Talkin' Guy," also in 1986.

"LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A publicist for Lisa Blount confirms that the Arkansas-born actor and Academy Award winning filmmaker has died at age 53...Blount won an Academy Award in 2001 for best live-action short film as producer of "The Accountant." Her husband Ray McKinnon directed and starred in the film...She also earned a Golden Globe nomination for playing Debra Winger's best friend in "An Officer and a Gentleman" in 1982.

It's a sad day for horror movie fans, losing a beloved and talented actress this young.   In this sad time, my thoughts are for her family.  Lisa Blount will be missed.


  1. I can't think of Lisa Blount and not think of 1981's "Dead and Buried"! She was a seriously underrated actress and I wish we got to see more of her. Thanks for the hypodermic needle Kindertrauma Lisa! (She was awesome in "An officer and a gentleman" too!) Rest in Peace!- This is a message from the year 2010!- Unk

  2. So strange to hear this. So unexpected given all of us spent so much time writing about John Carpenter in recent weeks and even, as you mentioned, her powerful turn in one of the finest of Carpenter films, POD.

    That's sad to hear and I'm sure we'll learn more about her departure at such a young age. Sad to hear.

  3. Anonymous1:43 PM

    A real shame. I immediately think of Prince of Darkness when I think of her.

    We've lost too many good folks lately.

  4. Time for a screening of PRINCE OF DARKNESS in her memory. Very sad indeed.

  5. This really is terrible news to hear. You know, this year, I read so many great articles on Carpenter's PRINCE OF DARKNESS (some associated with J.D.'s blogathon), and just about every one of them had kind and effusive things to say about Lisa Blount and her performance in that film. I don't believe I can think of her and not see that iconic scene of her reaching back from the void. So sad. May she rest in peace.

    Thanks, John.

  6. Hello my friends, thank you for all the wonderful remembrances of Lisa Blount.

    I always found her very interesting to watch, and as J.C.'s Catherine Danforth...touching.

    I agree with you, JD -- a re-watch of Prince of Darkness in Blount's honor is in order.