Celebrity Deaths

Celebrity Deaths in 2013

7/9/13  Country Music Hall of Famer Jim Foglesong died at age 90. He’s best-known for signing Garth Brooks to Capitol Records in 1985, when no other label wanted him.  Brooks went on to become the biggest selling artist in country music history.  He also signed or worked with The Oak Ridge Boys, Barbara Mandrell, Don Williams, Conway Twitty, Reba McEntire, Lee Greenwood and George Strait, among others.  He started his career in 1951 working for Columbia Records, transferring 78-RPM discs to other formats.  He eventually worked his way up to president of the label in 1973.

6/19/13  Country crooner Slim Whitman, who sold millions of records on television in the 1980s and 1990s died of heart failure in Florida.  He was the butt of many jokes on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show due to his white suit, receding hairline, sideburns and mustache.  Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr. was 90.

6/19/13  Convenience store pioneer William “Bill” Krause died of cancer at age 78.  He co-founded Kum & Go, an Iowa-based chain that operates 420 stores in 11 states and is the 5th largest privately help convenience store chain in the U.S.  His first store in 1959 was based on the idea that customers would want to buy milk, eggs and bread in the same place they bought their gas. Born 1/13/1935.

6/18/13  Journalist Michael Hastings, whose Rolling Stone story The Runaway General led to ending General Stanley McChrystal’s career when he was quoted criticizing the Obama administration. Hasting won the George Polk Award in 2010 for the story. He was 33.

6/11/13 Golfer Miller Barber, who played in more PGA and Champions tours (1,297) than anyone else, died at age 82.  Known for his unusual swing, he had 11 victories on the PGA tour and 5 majors on the Champions Tour. Trivia: He was known as “Mr. X” and told 2 stories about the nickname.  He took over the nickname from George Bayer, the original “Mr. X”, after beating him in a driving contest.  He also claimed that he never told anyone where he was going at night so other golfers referred to him as “The Mysterious Mr. X.”

6/6/13  Soap actress Maxine Stuart died at her home in Beverly Hills at age 94.  She was best known for her roles on The Young and the Restless and The Edge of Night.  She was nominated for an Emmy in 1989 for her role as a piano teacher in The Wonder Years.

6/3/13 Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), best-known for anti-smoking and drinking age legislation, died in New York of pneumonia. At age 89, he was the oldest person in the senate and the last of 115 WWII veterans to serve there. He began his political career in 1982 with an upset victory over Millicent Fenwick, a pipe-smoking model for the Lacey Davenport character in the Doonesbury comic strip.

5/31/13 Whirligig artist Vollis Simpson died at age 94 at his home near Raleigh, NC. His creations range in size up to 50′ tall and weighing as much as 3 tons. Four of them were displayed at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

5/26/13 Real estate magnate John Q. Hammons died in Springfield, MO at age 94. He invested primarily in small towns and his portfolio was dominated by 200+ hotels, a casino, golf courses, convention centers and restaurants.

5/26/13 Controversial Austrian painter Otto Muehl died in Portugal at age 87. His works, which featured images of excrement and the human body shocked audiences. He was one of the co-founders and leader of Viennese Actionism and for founding the Friedrichshof Commune, where he was convicted of illegal drug use and having sex with minors

5/25/13 Orthopedic surgeon Lewis Yocum, who saved the careers of countless big leage ball players died of liver cancer at age 66.  He was the Los Angeles Angels team orhthopedist for 36 years.

5/24/13 Former Tonight Show drummer Ed Shaughnessy died of a heart attack in Calabasas, CA at age 84.  Played drums for Doc Severinsen’s band on Johnny Carson’s show from 1963-1992. His favorite memories of the show included playing a drum battle with Buddy Rich (whom he earlier replaced in Tommy Dorsey’s band) in 1978 and accompanying Jimi Hendrix (1969). Trivia: His wife, Ilene Woods, who died in 2010, was the voice of Cinderella in Disney’s 1950 film.

5/23/13 Iowa Hawkeyes broadcaster Jim Zabel died at age 91. He covered more than 6,100 sporting events including 6 Rose Bowls and 26 NCAA basketball tournaments in a career that spanned nearly 70 years, 49 of them broadcasting Iowa football games. Some of his trademarks; “Hug and kiss those radios, folks.” during tense games and “I love it, I love it, I love it!” when the players made great plays.

5/21/13 Snapple co-founder and former window washer Leonard Marsh died at his home in Manhasset NY at age 80. He and brother-in-law Hyman Golden and Arnold Greenberg, a childhood friend started Unadulterated Food Products in 1972, selling natural fruit juices in health food stores. They changed the brand name to Snapple in 1980 and sold the company to Quaker Oats for $1.7 billion in 1994.

5/20/13 The Doors keyboardist and Rock HOF’er Ray Manzarek died of bile-duct cancer in Germany. He was 74. He met Jim Morrison (died in 1971 at age 27), a poet and singer on Venice Beach in 1965. The Doors sold 100+ million records, including Light My Fire, L.A. Woman, Riders on the Storm and Break on Through to the Other Side.

5/17/13 Golf great Ken Venturi died of multiple causes at age 82 in Rancho Mirage, CA.  He died 11 days after being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.  Sports Illustrated named him Sportsman of the Year in 1964.He was an analyst for CBS for 35 years, but overcame a severe stuttering problem as a child.

5/17/13 Singer-songwriter Alan O’Day entered Rock and Roll Heaven. He died of cancer at age 72.  He was best known for the 1977 #1 hit Undercover Angel, but also wrote other hits including Rock and Roll Heaven for the Righteous Brothers and Cher‘s Train of Thought.

5/1/13  Rapper Chris Kelly, half of the rap duo Kris Kross, died of a drug overdose in Atlanta.  Popular in the 1990′s, they opened for Michael Jackson, and were known for wearing their clothes backwards.  Their biggest hit was Jump.

4/22/13 Folksinger Richie Havens, who got his breakthrough at Woodstock in 1969, died in New Jersey at age 72.  Retired from touring in 2012.

Deanna Durbin obit

1940′s publicity photo

4/20/13 (estimated) Actress Deanna Durbin, a child movie star of the 30′s, who at one time was the second highest paid actress in Hollywood (Bette Davis) died in France at age 91.  Her first movie was Every Sunday (1936) with Judy Garland.  1937′s One Hundred Men and a Girl was credited with saving Universal Studios from Bankruptcy.  Trivia: She once lived near WC Fields who could hear her practice her singing, which he despised.  She left the business at age 28 and reportedly never looked back.  She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1722 Vine Street. Her death was announced by the Deanna Durbin Society on 5/30, but the exact date was not revealed.

4/13/13  Texas tycoon Bob Perry, who made his fortune building homes and donated more than $75 million to political candidates in his lifetime, died in his sleep.  He had maintained that writing large checks did not buy influence.  But he did influence the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry when he spent $4.4 million financing the famous Swift Boat Veterans campaign.  The TV spot is one of the most famous political ads in history.

4/13/13  Fast food entrepreneur John Galardi, who founded the Der Wienerschnitzel hot dog chain and built it up to ~350 outlets in 10 states, then developed The Original Hamburger Stand and Tastee Freez brands, died of pancreatic cancer.  He apprenticed with Taco Bell founder Glen Bell in Pasadena in 1961 before opening his first hot dog store, which sells 120 million dogs annually.

4/11/13  Comedian & actor Jonathan Winters died of natural causes at his home in Montecito, CA at age 87.  He was known for the enduring characters he created, such as Maude Frickert, who was based on a relative.  He recorded more than a dozen comedy albums.  Born 11/11/1925 in Dayton, OH.

4/8/13 Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher suffered a stroke and died at the Ritz Hotel in London at age 87. The Iron Lady had been in poor health and suffered from dementia.  She was the first female prime minister and the first to lead a major western power in modern times. (1979-1990)  She faced tough economic times, but her policies ultimately benefited British businesses and the middle class, even as her domestic policies were criticized.  She was elected to Parliament in 1959 and became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975.  Her Iron Lady nickname came from Soviet press in 1976 after a speech she gave that declared the Russians were bent on world-dominance.  Margaret Hilda Roberts was born in Grantham England, 100 miles north of London on 10/13/1925 and grew up above a grocery store owned by her father.  She majored in chemistry at Oxford and was part of the team that developed soft-serve icecream.

4/8/13  Actress and original Mouseketeer Annette Funicello died at age 70 in a California hospital.  Walt Disney selected her for Mickey Mouse Club, and she appeared in Disney feature films and co-starred with Frankie Avalon in beach party movies of the 1960′s.  At the height of her popularity, she received 8,000 letters each week, 10 times as many as other Mouseketeers. She died of complications of Multiple Sclerosis, a disease she had suffered from for 25 years. She was born 10/22/1942 in Utica, NY.

4/4/13 Film critic Roger Ebert died at age 70.  He reviewed up to 300 films per year for 46 years. He was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize (1975).  That same year he was partnered with his fierce arch-rival Gene Siskel, from the Chicago Tribune on public TV.  Opening Soon at a Theater Near You was renamed Sneak Previews in 1978 and nationally syndicated. He was less-known for writing the screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970).

3/30/13  Former Alabama athletic director Mal Moore, who was part of 10 national football championships as a player, coach or administrator, died of pulmonary problems.  He played on Bear Bryant‘s 1961 championship team and hired Lou Saban as head coach of the Crimson Tide.

3/28/13  Actor Richard Griffiths, best known for his work as Uncle Vernon Dursley in Harry Potter films, died at age 65 in Coventry England from complications of heart surgery. He was a prolific stage actor who won a Laurence Olivier Award and a Tony, both for The History Boys drama. Other films: Chariots of Fire and The Naked Gun 2 /1/2.  He was known for chastising audience members whose cell phones rang during plays.

3/26/13  Artist Martyl Langsdorf died of a lung infection at age 96.  She is best-known for designing the Doomsday Clock, which serves to remind the world of the vulnerability of nuclear destruction.  He husband, Alexander, was a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago.

3/22/13  1962 Playmate of The Year Christa Speck Krofft died of natural causes at age 70.  She had been discovered by talent scouts working as a secretary at Bank of America.  She was married to children’s TV show producer Marty Krofft.

3/19/13  Porn star Harry Reems died in Salt Lake City at age 65.  He was best known for his role of Dr. Young in Deep Throat (1972), a role he earned at the last minute when the original actor failed to show up for filming.  Reems was originally cast as an extra on the film.

3/1/13  Actress Bonnie Franklin, best-known for her role as a single mom on TV’s One Day at a Time (CBS 1975-1984), died of complications of pancreatic cancer at age 69.

2/27/13 Singer Richard Street, a member of The Temptations from 1971-1993, died in Las Vegas of a pulmonary embolism. He had worked at Motown Records in the quality control department and replaced baritone Paul Williams.  He was 70 and died just 2 weeks after the death of Damon Harris, who joined The Temps about the same time as Street.

2/25/13 Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop died at his home in Hanover N.H. at age 96.  President Reagan selected Koop, a pediatric surgeon and evangelical Christian, because of his conservative views and opposition to abortion.  At confirmation hearings, he told a Senate panel that he would not use his post to promote his religious ideology and he kept his word.  The former pipe smoker also crusaded against smoking in the U.S., saying that cigarettes were as addictive as cocaine and heroin.

2/20/13  Singer Cleotha Staples of the Staples Singers died in Chicago after a 12-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Cleotha was the oldest child born to Pops and Osceola Staples and sang minor tenor.  She learned dressmaking and worked for Hart Schafner and Marx putting shoulder pads in coats. Later, she would use her talents designing stage outfits for the Staple Singers.  She was 78.

2/18/13  Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss died of kidney failure and complications of cancer at age 80.  Impoverished as a child, Buss earned success teaching, aerospace and real estate.  He bought the Lakers in 1970 and went on to win 10 NBA titles.

2/18/13 Singer Otis ‘Damon’ Harris, a former member of The Temptations (1971-1975), died at a hospice in Baltimore at age 62.  He was best-known for Papa Was a Rolling Stone. (1972). He suffered from prostate cancer for 14 years.

2/17/13 Former All American Girls Professional Baseball Leaguer Sophy Kurys, who was nicknamed the Flint Flash, died in Scottsdale, AZ at age 87. She played 2nd base and led the league in stolen bases each of the 8 seasons she played for the Racine Belles (Total 1,114). In 1946, she stole 201 bases on 203 attempts.  (The men’s minor league record is 155, set in 2012.  Ricky Henderson swiped a record 130 bases in 1982).  She holds the record for most runs scored in her career (688) and 3rd in lifetime hits: 859.  The AAGPBL was the subject of the 1992 film A League of Their Own.

2/17/13  Singer Mindy McCready died of an apparent gunshot wound on her porch in Arkansas.  1st big hit, Guys Do It All the Time (1996). Her Ten Thousand Angels album sold 2 million copies in 1996.  Personal problems included a custody battle over a son with her mother, drugs, and several suicide attempts.  She was briefly engaged to actor Dean Cain in the late 90s.

2/15/13  Animal trainer Pat Derby, who worked with Flipper, Lassie and other performing animals died at her home in an animal sanctuary run by her organization PAWS.  She also trained the pumas that were featured in Mercury Cougar commercials featuring Farrah Fawcett. Wrote the autobiography The Lady and Her Tiger in 1976, in part to expose Hollywood’s treatment of animals.  She was honored shortly before her death when an elephant at a sanctuary in Kenya was named after her.

2/14/13  Songwriter Shadow Morton died in Laguna Beach, CA at age 71.  Best-known for the Shangri-Las 1964 hit Leader of the Pack.  George Francis Morton was born in Brooklyn before settling in Queens.

Celebrity Deaths in 2012

12/27/2012  Character actor Harry Carey Jr. died at age 91 in a hospice in Santa Barbara, CA. Known for roles in western movies, such as Wagon Master, he worked on John Ford classics She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, 3 Godfathers (1948), The Searchers (1956) and The Long Gray Line.  For the 1950 film Rio Grande with John Wayne, he and actor Ben Johnson learned how to simultaneously ride 2 galloping horses standing up – a trick known as ‘roman riding.’  He was awarded a Golden Boot award by the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation in 1987 and in 2003 he won a Silver Spur Award from Reel Cowboys. Both parents were actors and he appeared in 3 films with them.

12/27/2012 Desert Storm General Norman Schwarzkoff died of pneumonia at age 78. “Stormin’ Norman” commanded the US-led international coalition Operation Desert Storm that drove Saddam Hussein out of Iraq and became a hero with his news conferences that often showed video of buildings, including the office of his counterpart, being destroyed by missiles. He had an explosive temper, but never directed it at his troops – only his contemporaries.  He was awarded 3 Silver Stars for valor, a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star and 3 Distinguished Service Medals.

Modeled on John Glenn

12/26/2012 Producer Gerry Anderson, puppetry pioneer and creator of the British sci-fi hit Thunderbirds TV show, died at age 83.  He pioneered a puppetry technique known as “supermarionation.” Yet Anderson detested puppets, and was embarrassed to be working with them. He modeled his puppets on film stars like James Garner and Sean Connery or astronauts like John Glenn.  His glamorous secret agent, Lady Penelope, was said to be based on his second wife, Sylvia.

12/26/2012 Singer Fontella Bass, who recorded the pop hit, Rescue Me (1965), died at age 72 from complications of a December 2 heart attack.

12/25/2012 Mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. died in the penitentiary.

12/24/2012  Actor Jack Klugman died at age 90.  He was best-known for his role as Oscar Madison on TV’s The Odd Couple (1970-1975) and coroner on Quincy M.E (1976-1983).

12/24/2012 Actor Charles Durning died on natural causes at home in New York at 89.  He received Oscar nominations for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) and Mel Brooks To Be or Not To Be in 1983.  He won a Tony for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway in 1990.  Got his start in Buffalo, New York as an usher in a burlesque theatre when one of the comedians showed up too drunk to go on.  Durning recalled  later that he was hooked on show biz as soon as he heard the audience laughing.

12/24/2012 Baseball’s Brad Corbett, who owned the Texas Rangers from 1974-1980 (.521 winning percentage), died in Houston at age 75.  He had 6 managers in 6 years – 4 in 1977 alone.  He made his fortune manufacturing PVC pipe.

12/24/2012 Ebony magazine editor Terry Glover died of colon cancer at home in Chicago. She was 57 She joined Ebony in 2006 and became managing editor in 2009.

12/23/2012 Jean Harris, who was convicted in 1981 of murdering her lover, Scarsdale Diet doctor Herman Tarnowerher  in 1980, died at an assisted-living center in New Haven, Connecticut. She was 89.  Tarnowerher had been seeing his younger office assistant and Harris. The story started a national debate about whether she had been scorned or abused.  After her release from prison, she established a foundation that raised money for the children of women in prison in New York.

12/22/2012 Prolific character actor Cliff Osmond died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles at age 75.  He appeared in many films, including four Billy Wilder comedies.  His first appearance on TV was on The Rifleman and then came roles on 77 Sunset Strip, All in the Family, Bob Newhart Show, Gunsmoke, Here’s Lucy, Hogan’s Heroes, It Takes a Thief, Ironside, Kojack, The Flying Nun, The Odd Couple, Rhoda, Vega$ and Wagon Train.  As an instructor, he helped teach thousands of actors.

12/19/2012 Failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork died from heart ailments at Arlington Virginia at age 85.  His nomination in 1987 was defeated by the largest negative vote ever; 58-42.  Critics called him a free-speech censor and a danger to the separation of church and state.  He was an expert in anti-trust law.  Bork was accused of being a hatchet man for Richard Nixon when he fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox in the Saturday Night Massacre of 1973.

12/19/2012 Gospel singer Inez Andrews died in Chicago at age 83. A member of the Caravans, she was inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame in 2002.

12/17/2012 Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) died at age 88.  He was the longest serving senator (since January 1963) and served there longer than any American except Robert Byrd of West Virginia. He was the first Japanese American in Congress when he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1959, the year Hawaii became a state.  He received the Medal of Honor during WW II.

12/12/2012  Sitar player Ravi Shankar died at age 92 from complications of heart surgery. He taught George Harrison how to play the sitar.

12/9/2012 Popular Mexican-American singer and reality star Jenni Rivera died in a plane crash at age 43. Most recently a coach on The Voice Mexico. She produced 13 albums during her 20-year career.

12/8/2012 Dallas Cowboys practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown died at age 25 in a car crash in Irving, Texas. He was riding in a vehicle driven by nose tackle Josh Brent when Brent lost control of the vehicle at a high rate of speed. Brent was later charged with intoxication manslaughter.  In addition to plying together for the Cowboys, Brown and Brent were teammates at the University of Illinois.

12/5/2012 Jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck died at age 91 of heart failure a day before his 92nd birthday.  Biggest hit: Take Five in 1959 and written by Paul Desmond.  He was the first to sell a million jazz albums.

12/1/2012 Jovial college basketball coach Rick Majerus died of heart failure at age 64.  He had an overall record of 517-216 and led Utah to the 1998 NCAA final and had only one losing season in 25 years with four schools.

12/1/2012 Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide in front of his coach and the team’s general manager at age 25 at the Chiefs’ practice facility after killing his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, the mother of their 3-month old baby.

11/26/2012 Hartford “Sonny” Black Eagle Jr., an elder from Montana’s Crow Indian Tribe, who ‘adopted’ Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential race died.  As part of the adoption Obama attended a purification ceremony where he was given a Crow name that translates as “one Who Helps People Throughout the Land.”

11/26/2012 Dr. Joseph E. Murray, who performed the first kidney transplant in 1954, died in Boston at age 93.  He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1990.

11/24/2012 Boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho, one of the top fighters of his generation, died after being shot in Puerto Rico a few days earlier. He fought some of the biggest stars of boxing; Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya and Roberto Duran, compiling a career record of 79-6-3 from 1980 to 2010.  He was 50.

11/23/2012 Actor Larry Hagman died in Dallas at age 81 after battling cancer.  He was best-known as villain J.R. Ewing on Dallas (CBS) from April 1978 to May 1991.  He was nice guy Major Tony Nelson on NBC’s I Dream of Jeannie from 1965-1970. His mother, Mary Martin starred in classics such as Peter Pan and South Pacific.

11/22/2012 Best-selling Australian author Bryce Courtenay died of stomach cancer at age 79. His 21st and final novel Jack of Diamonds had been published 10 days earlier.  The former advertiser began writing at age 50.

11/21/2012 Sesame Street director Emily Squires at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. She was a writer and director of the program from 1982-2007.  She also wrote for the soaps As The World Turns, Search For Tomorrow and The Guiding Light.  She was 71.

11/21/2012 Actress Deborah Raffin died of leukemia at age 59 in Los Angeles. Movie roles included Forty Carats and Once is Not Enough.  She and her former husband founded Dove Books on Tape in the 1980s, which became a multi-million dollar company.

11/21/2012 Mr. Food, Art Ginsburg died in Weston Florida after struggling with pancreatic cancer. He was best-known for his tagline, “Ooh! It’s so good!” on syndicated food segments on 168 TV stations across the country.  Shunned by critics, he was embraced by home cooks and often used processed foods in his recipes. He published 52 Mr. Food cookbooks (8 million copies).

11/19/2012  Former senator Warren Rudman died in New Hampshire at age 82.  Best-known for being a co-sponsor of the Gramm-Rudman budget cutting law that went into effect in 1985, which required automatic spending cuts if annual deficit targets were missed. He lamented that the law never worked as well as it could because of political maneuvering.

11/17/2012 Singer Billy Scott died of cancer in North Carolina at age 70.  He and wife Barbara recorded as The Profits beginning in 1966. Their first gold record was I Got The Fever in 1968.

11/17/2012 Former Mousketeer Bonita Lynn Fields Elder died in Indiana at age 68. Known as Bonnie on The Mickey Mouse Club beginning in 1957, she went on to play bit parts in several movies and performed on a regular basis at Disneyland.

11/14/2012 The last N.Y. Giant to hit a home run, Gail Harris died in Virginia at age 81. The first baseman hit the final homer in 1957 before the Giants moved to San Francisco.

11/12/2012 Physicist Willis Whitfield, who invented the “cleanroom” died in Albuquerque, NM. Mr. Clean‘s invention was adopted in the electronics, healthcare and scientific research industries.

11/8/2012 Baseball’s Lee MacPhail died at his home in Delray Beach, FL at age 95.  At the time of his death, he was the oldest living member of baseball’s Hall of Fame.  He began working for the Yankees in 1949, winning 7 World Series.  He served as General Manager for the Baltimore Orioles for 6 seasons and as GM of the Yankees from 1967-1973. Be became president of the American League in 1974.

11/7/2012 Hall of Fame boxer Carmen Basilio, who famously took the world middleweight boxing crown from Sugar Ray Robinson in 1957, died of pneumonia at age 85.  He was popular when boxing was a popular sport in the days of back and white TV, taking the welterweight title from Tony DeMarco in 1955 and the middleweight belt near the end of his 13-year career in the ring.  He was among the first class of Hall of Fame inductees in 1990, a group that included Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis and Jake LaMotta.

11/7/2012 College football’s Darrell Royal died of cardio-vascular disease at age 88.  He coached the University of Texas to three national football championships and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 after a 23-year career in which his teams were 184-60-5, went undefeated in 1963 and 1969, and won national championships after the ’63, ’69 and ’70 seasons.  Royal was an all-American quarterback, defensive back and punter, and still holds OU records for the longest punt return and all-time career interceptions.  He led Oklahoma to an 11-0 record and the Sooners’ first national championship in 1949.

10/31/2012 St. Louis Cardinals organist Ernie Hays died at age 77.  A classically-trained pianist, he spent 40 seasons at both Busch Stadiums and also worked for the St. Louis Blues hockey team.  He was one of the first organists to play specific songs as players walked up to the plate. His full time job was as an engineer. He worked on test equipment for Gemini spacecraft.  He retired in 2010.

10/21/2012 Former presidential candidate and Democratic senator George McGovern died in a Sioux Falls hospice at age 90. He ran for president 3 times and once joked that he had wanted to run for president in the worst way – and that he had done so!

10/17/2012 Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel, star of the erotic Emmanuelle films died of cancer at age 60. Filmography includes: Emmanuelle (1974), The Concorde…Airport ’79Lady Chatterly’s Lover (1981) and Mata Hari.

10/17/2012 Inventor Stanford Ovshinsky, who developed the nickel-metal hybride battery used in hybrid electric vehicles, died in Detroit at 89. Won the 2012 Hans Bethe Award for his research.

10/14/2012  Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania passed away at age 82. He was a Republican who switched parties in 2009.

10/13/2012 Actor and TV host Gary Collins died in Biloxi, Mississippi of natural causes at age 74.  He hosted the Miss America pageant and the TV show Hour Magazine, for which he won an Emmy in 1983.

11/11/2012 College football analyst Beano Cook died.  Carroll H. “Beano” Cook was 81.  He worked on-air for ABC and ESPN, but was also a sports publicist and the sports information director at the University of Pittsburgh from 1956-1966.  When he was a child, he was given the nickname Beano by a neighbor, noting he had moved from “Beantown” (Boston).

10/10/2012 Former NFL player and actor Alex Karras died at age 77 at his home in California from complications of Alzheimer’s disease and stomach cancer. He played for the Detroit Lions after college at the University of Iowa.  He was the 10th player selected in the 1958 NFL draft and named to the Pro-Bowl in 1960-1962, 1965. College Football Hall of Fame (1991).  As an actor he was best-known for the movie Blazing Saddles (1974) and the 1980′s sitcom Webster.

10/9/2012 Detroit Red Wings announcer Budd Lynch died at age 95. He worked for the Red Wings for 60 years.

9/29/12  New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger died at his home in Southampton N.Y. at age 86.

9/28/2012 The “Dean of American Motorsports Journalism“ Chris Economaki died at age 91.  Worked in TV for more than 40 years at ABC, CBS and ESPN. He was part of the first telecast from Daytona International Speedway in 1961 (ABC) and owned and edited National Speed Sport News for more than 60 years.  He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1994. He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993.

9/25/2012 Singer Andy Williams died at his home in Branson, MO after battling bladder cancer for a year.  He recorded his best-known song, Moon River in one take. He’s also known for the Love Story theme and the Christmas classic, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  He was 84.

9/18/2012  NFL Films president Steve Sabol died of brain cancer in Moorestown, NJ. Started working for his father as a cinematographer in 1964 and together they introduced innovations such as super slow motion replays and sticking microphones on coaches and players during games. Won 35 Emmys for writing, cinematography, editing, directing and producing. He was 69.

9/11/2012 U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens died at age 52 when the U.S. Consulate was attacked in Benghazi.

9/7/12 Singer Dorothy McGuire Williamson of the McGuire Sisters died in Arizona of Parkinson’s Disease and dementia at age 84. Top hits: Sincerely in 1954 and Sugartime in 1957.

9/6/2012 Former NFL team owner Art Modell died of natural causes at age 87.  Best known for moving the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1996, Modell bought the team in 1961 for $3.9 million after making his fortune in advertising.  As league president in the late 60′s, he helped finalize the first collective bargaining agreement and helped developed lucrative TV contracts.

9/1/2012  Songwriter Hal David, who wrote What the World Needs Now is Love and other memorable songs died in Los Angeles at age 91.  His first #1 hit was Herb Alpert’s This Guy’s in Love With You in June of 1968, 10 years after he wrote his first Top 10 hit.  He worked with Burt Bacharach and many of his song titles were questions; What’s It All About, Alfie?, What’s New, Pussycat?, Do You Know The Way to San Jose? and What Do You Get When You Fall In Love?

8/30/2012 Hip-hop mogul and mentor Chris Lighty died at age 44 in New York of an apparent suicide. He had helped Mariah Carey, Sean Combs and 50 Cent with their careers.

8/26/12 Singer/songwriter Gene Thomas, best-known as half of the duo, Gene and Debbe, died at age 74. Playboy hit #17 in 1968.  Dozens of pop and country stars recorded his songs.

8/25/2012 Astronaut Neil Armstrong passed away in Cincinnati following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. He was 82.  He was the first man to step foot on the moon, and said “That is one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” spoken on July 20, 1969.  He and Buzz Aldrin each spent a little over 2 hours on the lunar surface, collecting moon rocks and erecting a flag.  In later years, Armstrong taught engineering.


8/24/2012 Veteran actor Steve Franken died at age 80 after battling cancer.  He was best-known as Chatsworth Osborne Jr. on the show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.  Appeared on many TV shows over the years, including Love American Style, Bewitched, One Day at a Time, Diff’rent Strokes, Hill Street Blues and Seinfeld.

8/23/12 Puppeteer Jerry Nelson, who created many of the most popular puppets on Sesame Street, died of emphysema at his home on Cape Cod. He created Count von Count, Sherlock Hemlock, Herry Monster and the Amazing Mumford.

8/20/12  Comedienne Phyllis Diller died of natural causes at age 95 Los Angeles. Known for her husband, Fang, her obnoxious laugh and her “Omar of Omaha” wardrobe, Diller didn’t get into comedy until she was nearly 40 years old. She also appeared in the movies, Boy Did I Get a Wrong Number (1966) and Eight on the Lam with Bob Hope in 1967.

8/19/12  Director Tony Scott, best known for Top Gun (1986), died after he jumped from a bridge in California. He also directed Beverly Hills Cop II, Crimson Tide and Enemy of the State (1998).  He was 68.

8/17/12  Reality series member Joey Kovar, best-known as a muscle-bound, substance-abusing cast member of MTV’s The Real World, died at age 29  He also appeared in Playgirl magazine.

8/14/12  Actor Ron Palilo, who was best known as class clown Arnold Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter, died of a heart attack in Florida at age 63.

8/13/12  Baseball’s Johnny Pesky, a beloved member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame (1995), who spent 61 years with the renowned baseball club as a player, coach, manager and announcer, died at the age of 92.  He was so well respected that the night he died, the Yankees paused for a moment of silence, who weren’t even playing the Sox.

8/13/12  Magazine editor and writer Helen Gurley Brown, the former editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and the author of Sex and the Single Girl, which taught women that they could have a career and a sex life, died at age 90.

8/7/12  Film critic Judith Crist, known for sometimes harsh commentaries in TV Guide and The Today Show, died in Manhattan at age 90.  An early review for Spencer’s Mountain, a story that became the basis for The Waltons, she cited the film’s “perverted morality.”  “It makes the nudie shows at the Rialto look like Walt Disney productions.”

8/6/12  Composer Marvin Hamlisch died in Los Angeles after a brief illness. Started his career as Barbra Streisnad’s rehearsal pianist on Funny Girl and went on to win three Academy Awards for The Way We Were and The Sting, a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize on Broadway with A Chorus Line and four Emmys.

7/31/12  Writer, commentator and bon vivant Gore Vidal died at age 86.  Best known for writing Myra Breckenridge.

7/27/12  Singer Tony Martin, one of the last of the big-name singer-actors from the golden age of Hollywood musicals, died at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes.  He appeared in more than 30 films.  He was married for 60 years to his wife, dancer/actress Cyd Charisse.  Some of his best-known songs: Stranger in Paradise, La Vie en Rose, I’ll See You in My Dreams and Begin the Beguine.

7/24/12  Actor Sherman Hemsley, best known for his George Jefferson character on All in the Family (1973-1975) and The Jeffersons (1975-1985), was found dead at his home in El Paso, TX.  He was 74.

7/24/12 Actor Chad Everett died at his home in Los Angeles after a year-and-a-half battle with cancer.  He was best known as Dr. Joe Gannon on Medical Center in the early 1970s.  In film, he’s remembered for a steamy audition scene with Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive.

Astronaut Sally Ride aboard shuttle Challenger7/23/12 Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space (Shuttle Challenger 1982), died at age 61 from pancreatic cancer.

7/19/12 Former SNL writer Tom Davis died of cancer at 59.  Often worked with Al Franken.

7/18/12 Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna best known as a romantic lead.  Served in Parliament from 1992-1996.

7/16/12 Queen of Country Music Kitty Wells died at age 92.  She was the first woman to reach #1 on the country music charts. It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (1952). Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976.

7/16/12 Musician Jon Lord, who co-founded the British rock group Deep Purple, died in London at age 71. He co-wrote Smoke on the Water.

7/16/12 Bassist Bob Babbitt died in Nashville at age 74. He can be heard on Midnight Train to Georgia, Tears of a Clown, and Cool Jerk.  He worked with stars like Phil Collins, Bette Midler, Elton John, Barry Manilow, Carlene Carter, Frank Sinatra and Jim Croce.

7/16/12 Author Stephen R. Covey, who wrote the best-selling self-help book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, died of injuries he sustained in a bicycle crash.  Other best-sellers included First Things First and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. He was 79.

7/15/12 Actress Celeste Holm, who gained fame on Broadway as Ado Annie  in Oklahoma and also won an Oscar for Gentleman’s Agreement, died at age 95.

7/14/12 Wall Street strategist Barton Biggs died at age 79.  The former Morgan Stanley chief global strategist was best-known for warning of the tech stock bubble in 1999, saying the rally would “come to a very bad end.”  A year later, stocks began a slide of 80%.  He co-founded one of the first hedge funds in 1965. Wrote 3 books: Hedge HoggingWealth War & Wisdom and A Hedge Fund Tale of Reach and Grasp.  He also correctly called the collapse of Japanese stocks in 1989.

7/13/12 Actor and producer Sage Moonblood Stallone, Sylvester Stallone’s son, was found dead at his home in California.  He was 36.

7/13/12 Film producer Richard Zanuck, who won the best picture Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy and was involved in such blockbuster films as The Verdict, Jaws (1975) and The Sting (1973) died of a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills.  He was 77.

Ginny Tyler obit

Jimmy Dodd – Ginny Tyler

7/13/12 Former Disney Mouseketeer Ginny Tyler died of natural causes at a nursing home in Issaquah, Wash.  She was 86.

7/8/12 Actor Ernest Borgnine died at age 95 of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His career spanned nearly 7 decades and 200+ parts in TV and film.  He might be best-known as  Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale in McHale’s Navy (1962-1966) or for his Academy Award performance as Marty. He was the voice of Mermaidman on SpongeBob Squarepants (1999-2011).  Ermes Effron Borgnino was born January 24, 1917 in Connecticut.  He was married 5 times, including a 6-week marriage to singer Ethel Merman.

7/3/12 Actor Andy Griffith, best known as Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968 & 249 episodes) and the title character on Matlock (1986-1995), died at 86 in his home in Dare County, NC. Once ranked #8 in TV Guide’s list of the 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time (2004)  What you may not know was a former English teacher and that he won a Grammy Award in 1997 for I Love to Tell the Story: 25 Timeless Hymns.

7/3/12 The voice of The Jolly Green Giant (Ho, ho, ho) Robert Tootelian, died at 89 in the Chicago suburbs.

7/2/2012 Former NFL player and TV pitchman Ben Davidson died of prostate cancer at age 72.  The menacing 6-foot-8 defensive end was known for his handlebar mustache and aggressive play as an Oakland Raider. Played 11 years in the NFL, including Packers (Championship 1961) and Redskins.  After football, he became an actor, appearing in films M*A*S*H, Conan the Barbarian and Necessary Roughness. He enjoyed the celebrity of playing himself in Miller Lite ads.

7/2/12 Astronaut Alan Poindexter, who flew twice on the space shuttle, died from complications of a jet ski accident in Florida at age 50.

6/30/12 Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir died from Alzheimer’s Disease at a nursing home near Tel Aviv.  He was 96.

6/28/2012 Baseball’s Doris “Sammye” Sams, five-time all-star as a pitcher and outfielder with the Muskegon Lassies in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League died in Knoxville at age 85. A lifetime .300 batter who also pitched a perfect game in 1947, her exploits helped inspire the movie A League of Their Own, which she once called “about 30% truth and 70% Hollywood.” “Dauntless Doris” was a 5-time All Star, 2-time Player of the Year and won a batting title and a home run record in her 8 seasons.

Don Grady and William Demarest MyThreeSons6/27/12 Actor Don Grady, who played elder brother Robbie Douglas on My Three Sons, died of cancer at age 68.  Grady was also one of the original Mouseketeers and later a composer who wrote the theme song for The Phil Donahue Show.

6/26/12  Director, screenwriter & producer Nora Ephron died at 71 of pneumonia brought on by myeloid leukemia.  Worked on films, such as Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail and Julie & Julia.

6/26/2012 Renowned swimmer Ann Curtis died of complications of Alzheimer’s disease at age 86.  She won two gold medals at the 1948 Olympics in London and 34 U.S. Championships. She broke 18 U.S. records before being elected to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1966.

6/26/12 Actress Doris Singleton died at age 92.  She was best-known as one of Lucy & Ricky Ricardo’s lesser-known neighbors on I Love Lucy, appearing in 10 episodes as the wife of a local radio station owner.  She also played Margaret Williams in the 1960′s sitcom My Three Sons.

6/21/12 Tony Award winning composer & producer Richard Adler, who may have been best-known for producing the birthday celebration for John F. Kennedy that featured Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday, died at age 90.  Adler biggest songs included, You Gotta Have Heart, Whatever Lola Wants, Hey There and Whatever Lola Wants.

6/20/12 Artist LeRoy Neiman, the painter and sketch artist best known sporting event images, died at age 91.  His autobiography, All Told: My Art and Life Among Athletes, Playboys, Bunnies, and Provocateurs was published on June 5, 2012.

6/18/12 Writer & author Erica Kennedy was found dead at age 42.  The former fashion publicist was best known for writing Bling.

6/17/12 Rodney King, famous for the beating he suffered by Los Angeles police in 1992, was found dead in his swimming pool.  He was 47.

6/16/12  Actress Susan Tyrrell, known as “one of the best screen drunks” died at age 67.  She was nominated for an Oscar for the film Fat City (1972).

6/16/12 Financial journalist Dan Dorfman died in New York of cardiogenic shock at age 82.  Dorfman wrote the Heard on the Street column in the Wall Street Journal and reported for USA Today and CNN.

6/13/12 Chemist William Knowles, who shared the Nobel Prize for discoveries related to treatment of Parkinson’s disease, died from complications of ALS.

6/12/12  Professor Elinor Ostrom, who was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for economics in 2009 for demonstrating that communities can manage natural resources as well as or better than government or business, died at age 68.

Henry Hill - Goodfellas

Henry Hill

6/12/12  “Goodfella” Henry Hill died at age 69.  His life as a mobster-turned-FBI-informant became the storyline for Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas movie.  (Ray Liotta played him in the movie)  Claims to have made “a couple hundred million” for the mob.

6/11/12 Actress Ann Rutherford died at age 90 (some say 94) in her home in Beverly Hills.  She played Scarlett O’Hara’s youngest sister Careen in Gone With the Wind and Polly Benedict, the sweetheart in the long-running Andy Hardy series.

6/8/12  Actor Frank Cady, a character actor who played Hooterville general-store proprietor Sam Drucker for nearly 20 years on the TV sitcoms Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and the Beverly Hillbillies, died at his home in Wilsonville, Ore.  He also played the part of Doc Williams on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. (1953 -1964). Born in 1915.  Retired in 1977.

6/7/12 Singer Bob Welch passed away after a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was formerly a member of Fleetword Mac, but had a successful solo career: Ebony Eyes and Sentimental Lady. He was 66.

6/6/12  Lesley Brown, mother of the first “test tube baby” died after a short illness.  “Baby Louise” was born in July 1978 in Oldham Hospital in England.

6/6/12  Designer Nolan Miller died in California at age 79.  He was famous for his wardrobe work on the Dynasty TV show (for which he won an Emmy) and recently for his jewelry collections on QVC.   He put a bra-less Farrah Fawcett in a see-through blouse for Charlie’s Angels, Tina Louise in a slinky nude-beige evening dress for Gilligan’s Island and dressed Elizabeth Taylor in violet gowns for her Passion perfume commercials.

6/5/12 Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury died at the age of 91. Wrote Fahrenheit 451 in 1953.  Also wrote horror and mysteries.

6/4/12 Singer Herb Reed, the last surviving original member of the Platters, died in a Boston Hospice at age 83.  Reed came up with the name of the group and sang bass of four #1 hits: The Great Pretender, My Prayer, Twilight Time and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.  The Platter were inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1990.

6/2/12 Actor Richard Dawson (Real name: Colin Lionel Emm) died of esophageal cancer at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 79.  Gained fame as Newkirk on the Hogan’s Heroes sitcom (1965-71). Perhaps best-known for hosting the TV game show Family Feud (1976-85), where he was known for kissing the female contestants (20,000 of them?), one of which became his wife in 1991.  He was also married during the 1960s to actress and blond bombshell Diana Dors.

Kathryn Joosten obit

Warner Bros.

6/2/12  Actress Kathryn Joosten, best known as the nosy neighbor Mrs. McCluskey on Desperate Housewives, died age age 72.  Joosten died of the same disease (lung cancer) as Mrs. McCluskey succumbed to on the series finale 3 weeks earlier.  She won 2 Emmys for the show.  Joosten was also known for playing the president’s secretary, Dolores Landingham on the TV series The West Wing.  Former psychiatric nurse in Chicago, she turned to community theater after a 1980 divorce.

5/30/12  Sir Andrew Huxley, a Nobel Prize-winning English physiologist died at age 94 in Cambridge England.  He won in 1963 for his work on nerve action potentials.  He was the half-brother of writer Aldous Huxley.

5/30/2012 Former NBA star Jack Twyman died of blood cancer at age 78.  Twyman was a Hall of Fame basketball player who once scored 59 points in an NBA game.  He and Wilt Chamberlain became the first players to average more than 30 points per game in a season (1959-1960)  The 6′ 6″ forward was a six-time All-Star who scored 15,840 points over 11 seasons with the Royals, who later moved on to Sacramento.  He became a TV analyst and as a food company executive, he made more than $3 million when he sold Super Food Services on Dayton, Ohio in 1996.

5/29/12 Dick Beals, the voice of Speedy In 200+ Alka-Seltzer TV and radio spots in the 1950s and 1960s and the original Gumby, died in California at age 85.  His unique voice was caused by a glandular problem.

5/22/12 Actress Janet Carroll, best-known for playing Tom Cruise’s mom in Risky Business and Kimberly’s mother on Melrose Place, died at 71 years of age.

5/20/12 Eugene Polley, who co-invented the Flash-Matic, the first wireless television remote control, died at 96.

5/20/12  Bee Gee Robin Gibb lost his fight with colon cancer at age 62.

5/17/12 Queen of Disco Donna Summer died of cancer at age 63.  More than 130 million albums sold, earning her 5 Grammy Awards. She was never comfortable with her sexy image on one of her biggest hit, Love to Love You Baby, in which the BBC counted simulated climax 23 times in the 17-minute version.  (That extended-play recording was the first “disco disc”)  Other hits include Last Dance, MacArthur Park, Hot Stuff, Bad Girls and Dim All the Lights. LaDonna Adrian Gaines was born Dec. 31, 1948, in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.

5/16/12 Funk musician Chuck Brown, the “Godfather of Go-Go,” died in Baltimore of multiple organ failure.  He was 75 years old.

5/16/2012 Croquet champion Archie Peck, died of tongue cancer at age 76.  He won 7 national croquet championships and the only person to have won 4 individual championships. Inducted into U.S. Croquet Association Hall of Fame in 1984.

5/14/12  Alligator hunter Mitchell Guist died following seizure in Louisiana.  He was a star on the reality TV show Swamp People.

5/13/12 Musician Donald “Duck” Dunn died in Tokyo.  He was a session musician who played with many on albums too numerous to count, but many know him as being a part of The Blues Brothers.  Inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1992 as a member of Booker T and the MGs.  His nickname, Duck, came from his father when they were watching cartoons together.

5/10/12  Car guy Carroll Shelby died at age 89.  Known for his work on the Shelby Cobra, Daytona Coupe and the Dodge Viper.  Sports Illustrated’s Driver of the Year in 1956 and 1957, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991.  Won at Le Mans in 1959.

5/9/12  British hairdresser Vidal Sassoon died of leukemia at his home in Bel Air, CA.  He revolutionized hair styling with his wash and wear techniques, concentrating on basic angles of cut and shape.  He was 84.

5/8/12 Former Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, who held influential posts in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, died at age 90.  He was involved in the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Civil Rights Act and the famous “stand in the schoolhouse door” school desegregation protest of Alabama Governor George Wallace.

5/6/12  Actor George Lindsay died at age 83.  He was best-known for portraying the country-bumpkin mechanic Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. and then as Gomer Pyle’s cousin on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.  He had auditioned for the Gomer Pyle role, but lost out to Jim Nabors.  Lindsay also appeared on Hee Haw for 20 years.

5/4/12  Beastie Boys rapper Adam Yauch died of cancer at age 47.  The Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012.

5/2/12  Football’s Junior Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot would in Oceanside, CA.  He’s most famous for playing for the Tiaina Baul Seau Jr. was born January 19, 1969 in San Diego Chargers, who retired his number 55 jersey.  The 10-time All Pro also played for the Dolphins and Patriots.

5/1/12  Blues guitarist Charles “Skip” Pitts, best-known for the guitar riffs on the title track of the 1971 movie Shaft. Can you dig it?

Amarillo Slim

4/29/2012 Poker champion and ambassador Amarillo Slim died of colon cancer at age 83. (Real name: Thomas Preston Jr.) He was charming, cunning and sly and always wore a Stetson cowboy hat and fancy boots.  He earned a total of four individual event championship bracelets in his career and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992.

4/21/12  Special counsel to President Nixon, Charles Colson, who served time in prison for his role in Watergate died at age 80.

4/20/12  Actor Jonathan Frid, who played Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows (1967-1971), died at age 87.  He also had a small role in the 2012 film Dark Shadows.

4/19/12  Drummer and singer Levon Helm of The Band, died of throat cancer.  He was 71

Photo of Dick Clark4/18/12  America’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark, died of a heart attack.  He was the longtime host and producer of American Bandstand and hosted New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for about 30 years.

4/7/12 TV’s Mike Wallace died at age 93.  Best-known for his hard-hitting interviews on 60 Minutes, (1968-2006 full-time, then 2007-2008 as a contributor) Won 20+ Emmys. He started his career as a wrestling announcer in Chicago. He was also a staff announcer on The Green Hornet, a game show host and talk show host and pitched products such as Fluffo shortening and Parliament cigarettes.

4/6/12 Artist Thomas Kincade, the self-professed “Painter of Light,” died in California at age 54. He was known for sentimental paintings with scenes of country gardens and churches in early morning light. He sold millions of dollars worth of paintings, but was reviled by the art establishment.

4/5/12 Car designer Ferdinand Alexander Porshe died in Ausatria at age 76.  He was the grandson of the car company’s founder and known for designing the Porshe 911, introduced in 1963.  In later years, he disigned eyeglasses, pens and watches.

4/5/12 Amplifier pioneer Jim Marshall died at age 88.  His amplifiers helped shape rock & roll for the likes of The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and others.

4/1/2012  Former Mexico president Miguel de la Madrid died at age 77.  Led the country during tough economic times from 1982-1988.  He born Dec. 12, 1934, in Colima, near Mexico’s Pacific coast.  He studied public administration at Harvard.

3/28/12  Grammy award-winning banjo player Earl Scruggs of Flatt and Scruggs, died at age 88.  They were best-known for the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies TV show; The Ballad of Jed Clampett.  Scruggs perfected and popularized the 3-finger style of playing a 5-string banjo, now called “Scruggs style.”  The duo was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.  Trivia: Scruggs and 238 other banjo players set a world record for the most banjo players playing one song together; Foggy Mountain Breakdown, a song he wrote. (9/13/2006 at Turner Field in Atlanta)

3/25/2012 Hall of Fame boxing writer Bert Sugar died at age 74. Former editor of Boxing Illustrated and and editor in chief for The Ring. Voted the “Greatest Boxing Writer of the 20th Century” by the International Veterans Boxing Assn, but possibly best-known for his ever-present cigar and fedora.  Sugar wrote more than 80 books, including The 100 Greatest Boxers of All Time.  Inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.  Herbert Randolph Sugar was born on June 7, 1936, and, according to family lore, legally changed his name to Bert as a child because he was tired of classmates taunting him with, “Herbert, please pass the sherbet.”

3/21/12  Former New England Patriots coach Ron Erhardt died at age 80.

3/17/12  Accused Nazi John Demjanjuk died in Germany at age 91.  The retired US autoworker was convicted of being a guard at the Nazis’ Sobibor death camp.  He maintained his innocence over 3 decades of legal battles.

3/12/12  Drummer Michael Hossack of the Doobie Brothers died of cancer at age 65 at his home in Wyoming.

3/9/2012 Major league umpire Harry Wendelstedt died of brain cancer at 73. He was on the Major League umpire staff from 1966-1998, and worked 5 World Series, 7 NLCS and 5 All Star games.

3/8/12  Lead singer Jimmy Ellis of The Trammps died in South Carolina at age 74.  Disco Inferno was their biggest hit and a Grammy winner in 1976.  The group often sang on street corners and the police called them tramps, so they added a second “m” in the groups name, so they would be high-class tramps.  He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

3/5/12  Songwriter Robert Sherman, best-known for creating the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for Mary Poppins, died at age 86.  He and his brother Richard won two Oscars for the score of the film and the song Chim Chim Cher-ee. They also won a Grammy.  Robert Sherman also composed the song It’s a Small World After All.  With his brother Richard, they were known as The Sherman Brothers, he received a star on the Walk of Fame in 1976.

3/3/2012 Actor Steve Bridges, known for his dead-ringer impressions of president George W. Bush and others died suddenly at age 48. He once appeared as Bush while standing next to the real Bush at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner during Bush’s presidency. Other impressions included Rush Limbaugh, Barney Fife, Tom Brokaw, Homer Simpson and Bill Clinton.

3/1/12  Conservative blogger and commentator Andrew Breitbart died in Los Angeles of natural causes at age 43.  He was also an editor of The Drudge Report.  Wrote the book Righteous Indignation.

2/29/12  Former Monkees lead singer Davy Jones died of a heart attack at age 66 in Florida.  Trivia: Davy Jones appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show with the Broadway cast of Oliver! on Feb. 9, 1964 — the same night The Beatles (the band The Monkees were modeled after) made their first appearance on the show.

2/16/2012 Baseball’s Gary Carter, who played 2,296 games for the Expos, Mets, Dodgers and Giants from 1974-1992, died in West Palm Beach, FL.  Inducted to Hall of Fame (2003). He was 57.

2/11/12  Singer/actress Whitney Houston, age 48, was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room bathroom.  I Will Always Love You may have been her biggest hit and it was used in her first film, My Bodyguard.  Known for her exceptional range, “The Voice” was named one of MTVs 22 Greatest Voices ever.

2/6/2012 Actor Peter Breck, who played Nick Barkley, a hot-headed son of California ranch owner Barbara Stanwyck on the 1960s TV Western The Big Valley, died Vancouver after a long illness. He was 82.  He was also featured on the TV show Maverick.

2/3/12  Actor Ben Gazzara died of pancreatic cancer in New York City at age 81.  He gained fame as Brick, the alcoholic son to Burl Ives Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  Gazzara also appeared on the TV show Run for Your Life (1965–1968) and in the 1998 film The Big Lebowski.  Biagio Anthony Gazzarra was born in New York City August 28, 1930.

2/1/2012 Boxing’s Angelo Dundee died from a blood clot at age 90. The longtime trainer was was Muhammad Ali’s trainer for the Fight of the Century, the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manila, and in Sugar Ray Leonard’s corner for his No Mas match against Roberto Duran.  Other boxers trained by Dundee included George Foreman, Carmen Basilio (who also died in 2012) and Willie Pastrano.  Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.

2/1/12 Soul Train’s Don Cornelius took his own life at age 75. He hosted the show from 1970-1993.

Welcome Back Kotter

1/26/12  Actor Robert Hegyes died of cardiac arrest at age 60 in Edison, NJ.  He was Juan Epstein on Welcome Back Kotter (1975-1979).  He also had a recurring role as Detective Manny Esposito on the CBS crime drama Cagney & Lacey.  Trivia: Epstein’s full name was Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein and Hegyes directed several episodes.

1/26/12  Actor Ian Abercrombie died in Hollywood at age 77 from complications of kidney failure.  The British stage and screen actor played Elaine Benes’ quirky boss, Mr. Pitt, on Seinfeld.

1/24/12  Actor James Farentino died of heart failure in Los Angeles at the age of 73.  Known for his role in the film The Final Countdown (1980) and as George Clooney’s estranged father, Ray Ross, on ER.  His career tanked after he pleaded no contest to stalking Frank Sinatra’s daughter, Tina, with whom he’d had a stormy 5-year relationship.

1/22/12  Coach Joe Paterno, once considered the winningest college football coach (409) for his record at Penn State (1966-2012), died after a brief illness.  For his part in the coverup of Jerry Sandusky’s sex abuse scandal, he was stripped of many wins.   He was named National Coach of the Year five times and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.  He was 82.

1/20/12  Legendary blues singer Etta James died of leukemia at age 73 in Riverside, CA..  Her best-known song was At Last.

1/19/12  Canadian skier Sarah Burke, died a week after suffering a severe brain injury while training in Park City, UT.  She was a 4x Winter X Games champ and a leader in getting superpipe skiing to the Olympics.

1/17/12  R&B pioneer Johnny Otis, who had a huge solo hit with Willie and the Hand Jive and also produced the original version of Hound Dog for Big Mama Thornton, died in Los Angeles at age 90.  Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.  John Alexander Veliotes (some sources give his first name as Ioannis) on Dec. 28, 1921.

1/13/12  Award-winning correspondent Richard Threlkeld was killed in a car crash on Long Island, NY.  He spent most of his career at CBS before retiring in 1998.  Among the stories he filed: the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars, the Patty Hearst kidnapping and trial and the execution of Gary Gilmore.  His wife of 28 years was former CBS and CNN correspondent Betsy Aaron.

1/5/2012 Bowling legend Don Carter, who had an unorthodox style, died at age 85.  “Mr. Bowling,” who gained fame in the golden age of bowling on TV became a charter member of the PBA Hall of Fame in 1975. He was the first athlete in U.S. sports history to sign a $1 million marketing endorsement contract. (Ebonite Bowling Balls in 1964). The 6-time Bowler of the Year in (1953 – 1954, 1957 – 1958, 1960 and 1962)

1/4/2012 Inventor Byron Donzis died of a stroke at age 79.  He invented the flak jacket worn by quarterbacks in the NFL, stadium seats with solar panels and inflatable running shoes.  Dan Pastorini wore his flak jacket during the 1978 season.  Reebok allegedly stole his idea for inflatable shoes when it introduced its “Pump” sneaker, later settling with Donzis out of court for an unspecified sum.

1/2/2012 Sportscaster Jim Huber died at the age of 67.  He spent 27 years at Turner Broadcasting and Turner Sports covering golf and the NBA,

1/1/2102 Olympic fencer, film swordsman, fight director and stunt man Bob Anderson died in the United Kingdom at age 89.  He worked with Errol Flynn, Sean Connery, Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp in films such as Highlander, The Hobbit, The Mask of Zorro, 2 Lord of the Rings films and Die Another Day.  His most famous scenes may have been in 2 Star Wars films. He dueled with light sabers as Darth Vader in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Celebrity Deaths in 2011

12/28/11 Singer Actress Kaye Stevens died at 79. Performed with the Rat Pack and was a frequent guest on the Tonight Show and TV game shows.  She was a regular on Days of Our Lives from 1974-79.

12/22/11 Golfer Bettye Danoff died at age 88. She was one of 13 founding members of the LPGA. Known as Mighty Mite (5’2″ 100lbs), she was also the first grandmother to compete on the tour, but never won an LPGA event.

12/17/11 North Korea leader Kim Jong Il died at age 69 of a heart attack.

12/15/11 Author, columnist, essayist and polemicist Christopher Hitchens died at age 62 of cancer.  Among his targets were Michael Moore, Mother Theresa, Sarah Palin, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong il, Henry Kissinger and Prince Charles.

12/7/11 Actor Harry Morgan died at 96.  Best known for his roles of Col. Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H and officer Bill Gannon on Dragnet.  Won one of 9 Emmys he was nominated for.

12/6/11 Singer Dobie Gray, best known for the 1973 hit Drift Away, died at age 71.  As a songwriter, his songs were recorded by John Denver, Three Dog Night and Etta James. Born July 26, 1940, in Simonton, Texas.

12/4/11 Patricia Dunn, former HP chairwoman, died of cancer.  Authorized a surveillance of board members, employees and journalists to try and determine who was leaking information to the press.  Resigned in 2006.

11/29/11 Actor, comedian and radio personality Patrice O’Neal died at age 41 from complications of a stroke.  He was 6’5′ and 300 pounds.

11/24/11 Former Chicago first lady Maggie Daley died of cancer at age 68. Very active in Chicago charitable activities.

11/8/11 Rapper Heavy D died from a blood clot at age 44.  Heavy D & the Boyz were the first group signed by Uptown Records.  Popular in the 80′s and 90′s.  Sang the theme song for In Living Color and MADtv.  Real name Dwight Arrington Myers, he was born on May 24, 1967 in Jamaica.

11/8/11 Cartoonist Bil KeaneFamily Circus debuted in 19 newspapers on Feb 29, 1960 and became one of the most seen panels at 1,500 as of 2011. His first syndicated comic, Channel Chuckles debuted in 1954. Born Oct 5, 1922 in Philadelphia.

11/7/11 Boxer Joe Frazier died of liver cancer at age 67.  Smokin Joe was best known for his fight (and loss) with George Foreman when the 2 undefeated boxers met for the first time Jan 22, 1973 in Jamaica.  Also met Muhammad Ali in 3 memorable fights, including the Thrilla in Manila in 1975.

11/4/11 TV commentator, syndicated columnist and author Andy Rooney died at 92.  Best-known for appearing on 60 Minutes.  He left the program Oct. 2, when he delivered his 1,097th and final essay.

10/31/11 Producer and director Gil Cates died at 77.  Best known for revamping Oscar telecasts.  He produced 14 Academy Awards telecasts.

10/20/11 Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi died at the hands of rebels.  Ruled Libya with brutality for nearly 42 years and represented the last of the old-style Arab strongmen.

10/16/11 Race car driver Dan Wheldon died in a wreck at Las Vegas Indy 300.  Won the Indianapolis 500 twice.

10/8/11 NFL Hall of Fame owner of the Oakland Raiders, Al Davis, died at 82 of heart failure.  Signature slogan, “Just win, baby!”  He held more pro football jobs than anyone, including scout, assistant coach, head coach, general manager, owner and commissioner.  Won 3 Superbowls.

10/5/11 Apple founder/CEO Steve Jobs died after a long illness.  Co-created Apple in 1976.  Known for Macintosh  computers, iPads, iPhones and iPods, Jobs was also involved with Next Computers and Pixar Studios.

9/25/11 Nobel winner Wangari Maathi died of cancer at age 71.  First female winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

9/20/11 Doritos creator Arch West died at age 97. Doritos were released nationally in 1966 and now sell nearly a billion bags a year in the Americas.  West was often sent new chip ideas to taste test.  He took one bite of Late Night All Nighter Cheeseburger in early 2011 and spit it out.  His family covered his cremated remains with Doritos.  Ashes to ashes, crunch to crunch.

9/17/11 Politician and businessman Charles Percy died.  Former U.S. Senator and presidential contender.

9/12/11 Country music pioneer Wade Mainer died of congestive heart failure at age 104. He was best known for inventing the two-finger banjo-picking style popular in bluegrass.  Lesser known was that he was once invited to the White House to play for FDR and during a break, spilled ice cream on the dress of Mrs. Roosevelt.

9/10/11 Actor Cliff Robertson died one day after his 88th birthday of natural causes.  Won an Oscar for his role as a retarded janitor in Charly (1968).  JFK personally approved of him playing him in PT 109.  Long-time spokesman for AT&T.  Born Sept. 9, 1923, in Los Angeles.

9/5/11 Opera’s Salvatore Licitra died after a motorcycle accident at age 43.  The tenor was known in Italy as the “new Pavarotti.”

8/31/11 Former ‘fastest woman on earth’ Betty Skelton Erde died at 85.  Aviation and auto racing pioneer.

8/28/11 David “Honey Boy” Edwards, believed to be the oldest surviving Delta bluesman, died at age 96.

8/22/11 Singer/songwriter Nick Ashford died in an NYC hospital.  He’d been treated for throat cancer.  Wrote or co-wrote the songs Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Missing You and You’re All I Need to Get By.   In 2002, Ashford & Simpson were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  Nickolas Ashford was born on May 4, 1941, in Fairfield, S.C.

8/22/11 Songwriter Jerry Lieber died of cardio-pulmonary failure at 78.  He and partner Mike Stoller wrote Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, Stand By Me and Yakety Yak.  (Lieber & Stoller did not like Elvis’ interpretation of Hound Dog)

8/3/11 NFL star and actor Bubba Smith died of an enlarged heart and arterial blockages.  He also had a weight loss drug in his system. The 6-foot-7, 280-pound defensive end was the #1 draft pick out of Michigan State in 1967 and played 5 seasons with the Colts and then 2 each with the Raiders and Oilers.  He was also known for his TV commercials for Miller Lite beer and as Moses Hightower in six Police Academy movies. Charles Aaron Smith was born Feb. 28, 1945, in Texas.

7/23/11 Adman John Chervokas, who created the slogan, “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.” died.  Advertising Age ranked the campaign the 51st best of the 20th century.

7/23/11 British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in London. Her album Back to Black brought her fame and was a global hit with a blend of jazz, soul, rock, classic pop and a nod to girl groups of the 60′s won five Grammys, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year for Rehab.  Also known for substance abuse problems, eating disorders and failed relationships.  She is one of a long list of rock & rollers to die at age 27, including Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones and Janis Joplin, many of whom had a history of substance abuse.

7/21/11 Toymaker Elliott Handler, age 95, died.  He and his wife grew Mattell from a home-based picture frame maker into the largest toymaker in the U.S.  His wife Ruth created the Barbie doll in 1959, naming it after their daughter.  Elliott created the Hot Wheels brand. Together, they created Chatty Cathy and Creepy Crawlers.  Born in Chicago on April 9, 1916

7/8/11 Former first lady Betty Ford died at 93. Overcame her own drug and alcohol addiction and founded the Betty Ford Center in California.  She never wanted her husband to be president, but used her position to campaign for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, liberalized abortion laws and urged her husband to name more women to policymaking government jobs.  Breast cancer survivor.

7/7/11 Baseball’s Dick Williams died of an aneurysm at age 82.  One of 2 men to ever lead 3 teams to the World Series. Hall of Fame (2008)  Retired in 1988 after 6 decades in the league.

6/23/11 Actor Peter Falk died at age 83.  Best known for his role as the rumpled, absent-minded detective Columbo which ran from 1971-1993 on television. Won 5 Emmys, including four as Columbo.  He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease late in life.

6/20/11 Jackass star Ryan Dunn died in a fiery car crash near Philadelphia at age 34.  His 2007 Porshe was traveling an estimated 140mph in a 55mph zone.

6/18/11 Sax player Clarence Clemons died in Palm Beach, FL of complications from a stroke at age 69.  Best known for his work with Bruce Springsteen, who he met in a bar in Asbury Park, N.J.  Clemons is also remembered for jamming with former president Bill Clinton at his 1993 inaugural ball.  As an actor, he appeared on TV’s Diff’rent Strokes and several movies.  Born Jan 11, 1942.

6/12/11 Singer Carl Gardner, the original lead singer of the Coasters, died of congestive heart failure.  Inducted in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.  He was 83.

6/3/11 Actor James Arness died at 88.  Best known for his role as Marshall Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, TV’s longest running drama.  That role was originally offered to John Wayne, who turned it down and recommend Arness.  Arness was the brother of actor Peter Graves and was 6’7″ tall.

6/3/11 Dr. Jack Kevorkian died at a hospital in Michigan and had been suffering form pneumonia and liver problems.  He was a longtime proponent of assisted suicide, helping 130 end their lives. He claimed he wasn’t ending a life.  He was ending suffering.  Kevorkian was 83.

5/27/11 Actor Jeff Conway died of pneumonia and complications of drug use at 60.  Best known for his role as Kenickie in the movie Grease.  Also starred on TV’s Taxi and Celebrity Rehab.

5/27/11 Rapper, musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron died in a NYC hospital.  Considered a godfather of rap, he never took any credit for it.  He was best known for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised in 1970.  Fought addictions for years.e

5/20/11 Pro wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage died at age 58 in a car crash in Florida.  Savage apparently suffered a heart attack that lead to the crash.  Known for his catchphrase “Oooooh Yeahhh!!!,” he also was the national spokesman for Slim Jim snacks in the 90′s and often battled Hulk Hogan.  Born Randall Mario Poffo on Nov. 15, 1952, in Columbus, Ohio.

5/17/11 Baseball’s Harmon Killebrew died of esophageal cancer at a hospice in Scottsdale, AZ at age 74.  League MVP in 1969, “Killer” hit 573 home runs during 22 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, Washington Senators and Kansas City Royals.  A 13-time All-Star, Killebrew was selected to the Hall of Fame in 1984.

5/11/11 Staples co-founder Leo Kahn died from complications from strokes.  (DYK: Staples almost became a pantyhose company) Also created grocery and natural foods chains.  Failed at discount auto parts.

5/7/11 Golfer Seve Ballesteros died of a brain tumor. He was 54.  Won the first of 3 British Opens at age 22 and won his first of 2 Masters Tournaments as the then youngest ever (23).  Golf Digest once rated him the 16th greatest golfer of all time.  Born in Spain April 9, 1957.

5/7/11 Former General Motors CEO Robert Stempel died at age 77.  As an engineer, he was instrumental in developing the catalytic converter, front-wheel drive and battery powered cars.

5/3/11 Actor/director Jackie Cooper died at 88.  Achieved fame as a child movie star in the 30′s, he directed television shows later in life.  He was the first child actor to receive an Academy Award nomination and he was also the youngest performer to have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Skippy)  Appeared in all four Christopher Reeves Superman movies as editor of the Daily Planet.

5/2/11 Terrorist Osama bin Laden died during a U.S. raid in Afganistan.  Responsible for killing 3,000 people in the 9-11 attacks.

4/27/11 Actress Yvette Vickers body was found in her home. She may have been dead for several months.  Starred in two horror films in the late 1950s,  Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Attack of the Giant Leeches.  She was also a Playboy Playmate of the Month in 1959.

4/26/11 Singer/songwriter Phoebe Snow died at age 60 from complications of a brain hemorrhage she suffered in January 2010. Best known for her 1974 hit, Poetry Man, she was nominated twice for a Grammy Award.  She sang commercial jingles for such companies as Stouffer’s, Michelob and General Foods.  (Remember “Celebrate the moments of your life”)   Born Phoebe Laub on July 17, 1950 in NYC. (Some sources say she as born in 1952)

4/23/11 Sony chairman Norio Ohga died of multiple organ failure in Tokyo, Japan. He originally wanted to be a baritone opera singer.  Ohga insisted that CDs be designed at 4.8 inches in diameter, which would provide 75 minutes worth of music, enough to store Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in its entirety.

4/20/11 Hubert “Hub” Schlafly, who helped develop the teleprompter, died after a short illness at age 91.

4/16/11 Writer Sol Saks died of pneumonia at age 100.  Created the TV comedy Bewitched.  Wrote the book, The Craft of Comedy Writing in 1985.

4/9/11 Director Sidney Lumet died of lymphoma at his home in New York at age 86.  Directed such classics as 12 Angry Men, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico and The Verdict.  Lumet received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 2005, but also directed a number of Oscar-winning performances.

3/26/11 Democrat Geraldine Ferraro died after a 12-year battle with blood cancer.  Best known as the first woman on a major U.S. party ticket when she ran as Vice-President with Walter Mondale in 1984.  Ferraro was a co-host of the Crossfire program on CNN from 1994-96.  She was 75.

3/26/11 Harry Wesley Coover Jr., the inventor of Super Glue, died at age 94.

3/23/11 Actress Elizabeth Taylor died.  Among the last of the classic movie stars, Taylor’s performances, glamour and off-screen activities made her extremely famous.  First female actor to get $1 million (Cleopatra)  Other movies included, National Velvet and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  She dated and married several of the richest and most powerful men in the world and was gifted with significant bling.  She was thought to have been hospitalized more than 70 times in her life for illnesses, accidents and injuries, including hip replacements, an emergency tracheotomy, skin cancer and a hysterectomy. She struggled with alcohol and prescription painkillers most of her life.  Known for being late, she specified in her will that her funeral was to start 15 minutes late.

3/21/11 Bluesman Pinetop Perkins died at age 97.  Became the oldest Grammy wiinner in 2011 and won 3 in his lifetime.  Played with Muddy Waters and taught Ike Turner how to play piano. Liked to eat McDonald’s Big Macs and had one almost daily.

3/20/11 Dorothy Young, the last surviving stage assistant to Harry Houdini, died at 103.

3/17/11 Actor Michael Gough died at 94.  Best known as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth in 4 Batman films, but initially became known for appearances in horror films including Dracula (1958), Horrors of the Black Museum (1959), The Phantom of the Opera (1962).

3/15/11 Singer/rapper Nate Dogg (Nathaniel Hale) died at 41.

3/12/11 Jazz drummer Joe Morello died at 82.  Played with Dave Brubeck for over 10 years, appearing on more than 60 albums..

jane russell in outlaw2/28/11 Voluptuous actress & pin-up girl Jane Russell died at 89 after a short illness.  Her most famous role came in the 1943 film, The Outlaw.  As a favorite pin-up in WW2, U.S. troops in Korea named two embattled hills in her honor.  She also represented Playtex in bra commercials.  Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell was born June 21, 1921, in Bemidji, Minn.

2/27/11 Baseball Hall of Famer Duke Snider died at age 84 at the Valle Vista Convalescent Hospital in Escondido, Calif. Helped the Brooklyn Dodgers win their only World Series.  Snider hit .295 with 407 career home runs.

2/22/11 Songwriter Jean Dinning died at age 86. Wrote the 1959 song Teen Angel, which was recorded by her brother, Mark.  Sold 2.5 million records.

2/11/11 Scientist Christian Lambertson, who invented a self-contained underwater breathing device and coined the term “scuba,” (Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) died at age 93.

2/3/11 J. Paul Getty III, the troubled grandson of one of the world’s richest men, died at age 54.  He was best known for being kidnapped at age 16 by Italian gangsters who ultimately cut off one of his ears and sent it with a ransom demand.  Getty had been wheelchair-bound since 1981, due to a drug overdose that caused him to have a stroke.  He was severely paralyzed, unable to speak and partly blind.

2/2/11 French actress Maria Schneider, who co-starred with Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris (1974) died. She was 58.

1/26/11 Motown’s Gladys Horton died from complications of a stroke at age 66.  Co-founded the Marvelettes.  Gladys Catherine Horton was born May 30 in 1944 or 1945.

1/23/11 Fitness icon Jack LaLanne died at age 96 from complications of pneumonia.  He inspired TV viewers to exercise, lose weight and eat well before it became popular.  LaLanne opened the nation’s first health club in Oakland in 1936.  At age 60, from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, handcuffed and shackled and towing a 1,000-pound boat.

1/18/11 Former ambassador and Kennedy in-law Sargent Shriver died.  First director of the Peace Corps.

1/17/11 Rock Promoter Don Kirshner died. Launched careers of the Eagles, Lionel Ritchie, Ozzie Osbourne and Prince.

Superman1/15/11 British actress Susannah York died of cancer at the age of 72. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969)

1/11/11 Actor/Director David Nelson died at age 74 of colon cancer. Best known for appearing with his younger brother, Ricky, on his parent’s TV show, Adventures of Ozzie and Harriett, which ran for 14 years. Born: Oct 24, 1936 in NYC.

Anne Francis as Honey West1/2/11 Actress Anne Francis died of pancreatic cancer at age 80 in California.  First break: Forbidden Planet (1956) Best known for playing sexy private eye Honey West on TV. (1965-66)  Born 9/16/1930

1/2/11 British character actor Pete Postlewaite died of pancreatic cancer at age 64.  Steven Spielberg once called Postlethwaite “the best actor in the world” after working with him on The Lost World: Jurassic Park.  Nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for In the Name of the Father. (1993)

1/2/11 World War II hero Major Richard “Dick” Winters was chronicled in the book and TV miniseries Band of Brothers.

8/13/04 Cookbook author Julia Child died 2 days short of her 92nd birthday. Trivia: Julia was 6’2″ and helped invent shark repellent.

8/13/1991 Jack Ryan, who helped develop the Barbie Doll, died.  He also worked for the Pentagon designing missiles!


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