HOLLYWOOD – 2016 claims another victim as esteemed monkey actor famous for Raiders of the Lost Ark dies.
The film world is in mourning today as news came in that George Applethwaite, the monkey actor most famous for his role in the Indiana Jones adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark has died.
Tributes flooded in from all over the world. Harrison Ford described Applethwaite as ‘a formative influence on my acting style and a great personal friend’ and Andy Serkis hailed the late actor as ‘a pioneer for all of us monkey actors, we all stand on the shoulders of Applethwaite’.
The body of Applethwaite was discovered at his Malibu beach house by a cleaner and although the coroner has not declared the cause of death speculation is rife that he took his own life. Applethwaite shot to fame as the turncoat monkey who betrays Indiana Jones to the Nazis in the first film of the blockbuster franchise. Ironically, Applethwaite was famous for his radical left wing views which sat uncomfortably with the money and fame he garnered with his acting. Protegé Serkis remembered his guru:
George always told me that in another life he would have prefered to have been a writer, someone who could really influence the world. But he was cursed with this gift of acting and once he achieved success there was no stopping him.
Applethwaite followed up his work with Spielberg with Oscar nominated turns as the Austrian Emperor in Amadeus and in the role of the sadistic sergeant in Oliver Stone’s Platoon and a long productive collaboration with Philip Glass. However, in recent years Applethwaite’s career had stalled and a series of scandals involving IRS investigations had led the star into depression and alcohol abuse.
Perhaps the most moving tribute to Applethwaite was paid by John Rhys-Davies, the actor who played Sallah in Raiders, who tweeted two words which said it all:
For more news about movies, CLICK HERE.