MCM: The Men We Lost in 2016


Oh 2016, you robbed us of so much! On this last Monday of the year, let’s take a few moments to remember the great men of historical costume movies who we lost this year. We’ll always have them on film and in our memories. Click through any of the links for our full-length retrospectives of each gentleman.


As far as frock flicks goes, the greatest loss is probably Alan Rickman, and he’ll forever be our one true Captain Brandon in the one true version of Sense and Sensibility (1995). His final performance as the older King Louis XIV was a fabulous way to go out, plus a lovely reunion with Kate Winslet.

Alan Rickman, Sense and Sensibility Alan Rickman, Sense and Sensibility Alan Rickman, A Little Chaos


A a mere four days earlier in January, the man who fell to Earth, David Bowie, left this realm, making some of us wonder if Bowie was what really held the world together. Although not a typical historical costume actor, he did have a few exquisite gems (and I don’t care if the video below is a commercial for Louis Vuitton, it’s the party of my dreams).

David Bowie, Absolute Beginners


David Bowie, photo by Annie Leibowitz


Lastly, but not at all least, in September, the laughter of Gene Wilder died. His wacky yet dapper yet sweet characters like Willy Wonka and Dr. Frederick Frankenstein will remain with us in vivid color and black and white.

Gene Wilder in Blazing Saddles Gene Wilder in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother Gene Wilder in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory



There were others who left us this year, historical costume actors, producers, costumers, and more. Who will you remember from 2016?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

8 Responses

  1. Susan Pola

    I chose Colonel Brandon over Wlloughby from the first. Mr. Rickman will always be an actor whose portrayals were spot on. His Severus Snape gave my heart ? sighs.
    My favourite of his many roles were, in no particular order, Col. Brandon, Snape, Louis IV, The Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Dances with Trees (Kevin Costner ergo Dances w/Trees), and Reverend Slope in Barchester Chronicles.

    The Elf King, Bowie, I would have ditched the baby for him.

  2. JT

    I’ll miss Gene Wilder the most. I loved his characters. From what I hear, he was nice in rl too.

  3. Andrea

    Peter Vaughn, who played the adorable Mr Boffin in “Our Mutual Friend “. He was also in “Lorna Doone”, “The Pallisers” and played Tulkinghorn in “Bleak House” to ne a few.

  4. Charity

    Last year sucked.

    I’d just started to recover from Bowie when Rickman died.

    S&S was only my second foray into Austen — I’d run across “Emma” (Northam / Paltrow) on pay-per-view as an innocent teenager and absolutely loved it, so I tried out S&S only to have Colonel Brandon win over my heart. I sat there enraptured from the start, agonizing that Marianne was such a mindless twit not to notice the perfect man standing next to her. Sure, he was much older — I didn’t care. =P

    My aunt had the gall, when I showed her S&S years later, to go, at the end, “Eww, I don’t want Marianne with Brandon! He’s OLD!”

    This was a decade ago. I’ve never forgiven her. Nor given up my love for Alan Rickman.

    Ah, Bowie. Thank you for the music. And for the Goblin King.

    • Charity

      (Of course, I should have said 2016 instead of last year. Apparently, my brain has decided to leap forward in time in Doctor Who’s TARDIS. LOL)

  5. ladylavinia1932

    There is Bernard Fox who appeared in two versions of the Titanic sinking – 1958’s “A Night to Remember” and 1997’s “Titanic”. He also appeared in the adventure-thriller set in the 1920’s, “The Mummy”.