Actor Jon Finch died late December, and the story has broke just today (IMDb still, as of now, notes him as being alive). Finch was originally cast by Ridley Scott to play the hapless Kane in Alien, but famously the actor bowed out after a bad turn on set which is variously attributed to diabetes and a bronchial attack. He was of course replaced by John Hurt. You can read about the various tales surrounding Finch’s departure here.
The Hastings Examiner article covering the death notes that: “Jon Finch, of Croft Road, was found in his flat in the Old Town on December 28 after friends and family became concerned for his welfare. He was 70 … His ex-partner Helen Drake, who lives in Cornwall, said: ‘Jon and I remained very close and we were like a little family and saw each other regularly in the Old Town. He had been quite unwell for a while as he suffered from diabetes and was becoming confused. Jon was quiet and a private person but very warm and generous. He had a fantastic sense of humour. Jon was a wonderful father to his 19-year-old daughter Holly. They got on well and always laughed, having fun together.’”
Finch joins other Alien alumni who have left us in the last few years, including Dan O’Bannon, Carlo Rambaldi, Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, and Simon Deering.