It is with great heartache that we have to bring you the sad news that our good friend Peter Spellos passed away this weekend. The actor best known to Transformers fans for his work on the 2000 series Robots In Disguise as the Predacon shark Skybyte had been bravely fighting stage three pancreatic cancer for some time, but lost his battle in his sleep on the morning of Sunday 19th November.
Peter first joined us at the Auto Assembly convention in 2014 – his first trip to the UK – and was an instant hit with the fans in attendance. He was an incredibly warm, charming and funny man who always had time for everyone attending. A fan of science fiction himself, he always said that he didn’t want to be treated as a guest, but just like one of the attendees. And that’s exactly how everyone came to feel about him – as part of the extended Auto Assembly family.
By the end of the weekend, Peter returned home not with a larger fan base but – as he put it – with a much larger family. He continued to keep in touch with many who attended the convention and forged countless friendships… something I’d never encountered with any of our guests before on this scale, nor from any other convention for that matter. Peter was just the type of person that everyone loved.
His popularity amongst our attendees was so strong that he returned just 12 months later for our final convention – the only actor to attend two years in a row and I’m sure he returned back to the States with an even bigger list of people to keep in contact with. The UK quickly became his second home after that. His love of improvisational comedy had returned by that point with him holding regular classes both in America and the UK for his new extended families.
Even though all of us knew him initially for his Transformers work, his film and television work had been quite extensive covering genre favourites such as Men In Black II, Nightmare On Elm Street, Sliders, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman (Peter always said he was proud to have been the man who shot Lois Lane!) and many, many more. But despite all of that, anyone who ever got to meet him in person forgot all of that and just remembers the wonderful human being who felt like an amazing father figure to us all.
I know I’m not the only one who has shed tears learning the news when we lost Peter Spellos. The word “legend” is used far too often these days when it comes to those in the media, but this weekend the world has lost someone who genuinely deserved to be called one.
RIP Peter Spellos – you will remain in our hearts and thoughts forever.