If there ever was a true filmmaking legend, it was Ray Dennis Steckler, a longtime Las Vegan. Steckler, 70, died last Wednesday, January 7, following his courageous 10-year battle with heart disease.
Steckler made movies with virtually no money (to him, $10,000 was a huge budget) and none of the A-list actors- and they became immediate hits. Known for such sought after cult-favorite flicks as “The Thrill Killers,” “Mixed Up Zombies,” and “Rat Pfink a Boo Boo,” Steckler did it all, being a one-man band. He was an actor, freelance cinematographer – catching the film bug as a teen – and, after he moved to Las Vegas in 1970, he even taught filmmaking at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Yet, even has he faced death, Steckler said, “I am the luckiest man in the world,” his wife of 23 years recalls. “I made a living doing something I love.”
If all of us could be so fortunate to have such an epitaph.
Steckler’s funeral is this Sunday, January 11, at 3 p.m. and is open to the public at Palm Mortuary at 7600 S. Eastern Avenue in Las Vegas.