JOHN GREGORY DUNNE (12/30/03) - Author. Mr. Dunne,
brother of Dominick Dunne, penned the best seller "True Confessions." John's other novels
include "Dutch Shea, Jr." and "The Red White and Blue." John was white. During dinner the
other night he turned red. Now, we're pretty certain he's blue. Coincidence? We think not.
EARL HINDMAN (12/29/03) - Actor. Mr. Hindman is best known for playing the neighbor on Home Improvement. Consequently, he doesn't have one of those faces you always remember. Additionally, the guy played on a soap opera and did some work in theater. We don't really think Earl is much of celebrity but its the New Year and we figured we'd cut the guy some slack. Plus, we liked the picture (you'll see it on the Obits page alright already).
ALAN BATES (12/27/03) - Actor. Mr. Bates became famous as a new breed of gritty actors in post-war Britain. His big break came with the play "Look Back in Anger" in 1956. However, he went on to play in Hamlet, Richard III and Anthony and Cleopatra. Alan starred in the movies Zorba the Greek, Far From The Madding Crowd and that piece of crap Gosford Park. Currently, Alan is appearing in a Memorial Park.
HOPE LANGE (12/19/03) - Actress. Ms. Lange was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in Peyton Place. However, we love Hope for her Emmy winning work in the television series The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Wanna take a stab at which role she'll be playing in the reunion show?
JEANNE CRAIN (12/14/03) - Actress. Ms. Crain specialized in frothy comedies in the 1940s. Hey, she played opposite Frank Sinatra and was nominated for an Academy Award. The Oscar nomination came for her staring role in the Elia Kazan classic Pinky. Some mentioned to us that the picture was about racial prejudice and race identity but we're pretty certain it had something to do with the Fonz.
PAUL SIMON (12/9/03) - Former Senator. Mr. Simon started young in the newspaper business and made a small fortune. Then he became a bow tie-wearing senator who bowed out of a presidential primary after an abysmal showing in 1988. Seems Art Garfunkel has been absolutely jubilant on stage during the recent reunion tour shows. Someone better tell him it was the OTHER Paul Simon.
WARREN SPAHN (11/24/03) - Baseball Hall of Famer. Mr. Spahn pitched more winning games than any other south paw in baseball. The guy pitched 21 seasons and won 363 games. Warren also holds the National League homerun record for a pitcher. One thing this guy wasn't was a belly itcher! Spahn once said, "When I'm pitching, I feel I'm down to the essentials..." Give him a few weeks and he'll really be down to the essentials; carbon and a bit of water.
PENNY SINGLETON (11/12/03) - Actress. Ms. Singleton was the first woman president of an AFL-CIO union. Penny led the first strike of Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. Sure, sounds like she was a real union activist but what she's really known for is being "Blondie." Twenty eight films in all. Penny also provided the voice of Jane Jetson. "Meet George Jetson.....His boy Elroy....Jane his, uh, oh, sorry." Or better yet, "Jane! Stop this crazy thing. Jane! Jane! Jane?"
ROBERT HODGES (11/11/03) - Veteran. Mr. Hodges was America's oldest veteran. He was 115 and served during WWI in France. Apparently, that was before the French learned to give in so easily.
IRV KUPCINET (11/10/03) - Newspaper columnist and television personality. Mr. Kupcinet, dished the dirt about celebrities and sports to an eager Chicago audience for more than a half century. Irv's Chicago Sun-Times column has appeared since 1943. He interviewed over 6,500 celebrities for his television show, which won more than a dozen emmies. Irv also officiated for the NFL and called games on the Radio for the Bears. And now, the Kup's run ith over.
ART CARNEY (11/9/03) - Actor. ART CARNEY (11/9/03) - Actor. Mr. Carney was a great! Besides his well deserved oscar for Harry and Tonto, Art played opposite Walter Mathau in the original Broadway run of The Odd Couple, and, of course, was Ed Norton to Jackie Gleason's Ralph Kramden. Think about this, The Honeymooners is still run daily in this country. Incredible. Bang, zoom, straight to the tomb.
BOBBY HATFIELD (11/6/03) - Singer. Mr. Hatfield was part of the duo known as the Righteous Brothers. In spite of a group name that carries with it no short order of arrogance, these guys really could sing very well. Think "Unchained Melody" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." In addition to losing that lovin' feeling, Bobby has lost all of that neural feeling as well.
KAMATO HONGO (10/31/03) - World's oldest person. Ms. Hongo was recognized by Guinness as the world's oldest person. However, due to sketchy birth records, this title was often disputed. Kinda like her title as a friggin' celebrity.
MADAME CHIANG KAI-SHEK (10/23/03) - Widow of Nationalist Chinese President. Madame Chiang was a driving force behind the nationalization of Taiwan. In the early 1900s the Madame and Chiang Kai-Shek were one of the world's most famous couples. Plus, the Madame was 106. But that didn't stop the AP from saying this, "The cause of death was not immediately available..." Uh, maybe old age.
FRED BERRY (10/22/03) - Actor. Mr. Berry was not just an actor; we're talking an icon here. We're talking the dude who played Rerun on What's Happening!! What's not happening, apparently, is a reunion show.
JACK ELAM (10/21/03) - Actor. Mr. Elam was a character actor who made a name for himself as the wild eyed villan in numerous Westerns such as Rawhide. Elam also played dirty old men and drunks, sometimes with a humorous bent. Kinda like us.
BILL SHOEMAKER (10/12/03) - Jockey. Mr. Shoemaker won 8,883 horse races. Four of those races were Kentucky Derbies. One of the those Derbies Bill won when he was 54, making him the oldest Jockey to ever win the Kentucky Derby. Throughout his career, Bill was known as "The Shoe." So, for those of you who were waiting for the other shoe to drop, done.
ELIA KAZAN (9/29/03) - Director. Okay, we're talking about a guy who directed "On the Waterfront," "A Streetcar Named Desire," "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," "East of Eden," and "A Face in the Crowd." No small bill. Of course, he did have that little problem with some of the communists in Hollywood ending up on blacklists. You may think the guy was a jerk or you may think he was a patriot. Either way, ya gotta admit two things....1) he was a great director and 2) well, he's dead.
YUKICHI CHUGANJI (9/28/03) - World's oldest man. Mr. Chuganji was not only the world's oldest man, but a retired silkworm breeder. According to his family, he had just finished drinking some apple juice when his they noticed he wasn't looking well. Moral of the story, drink orange juice.
DONALD O'CONNOR (9/27/03) - Actor. Mr. O'Connor performed the classic number "Make 'Em Laugh" in the movie "Singin in the Rain." Donald also appeared in other movie musicals including "Anything Goes" and "There's No Business Like Show Business." However, Don is best known for a series of 1950s "Francis the Talking Mule" pictures. In these films, Don spent a good deal of time talking with a jackass. That's something we can really empathize with.
GEORGE PLIMPTON (9/24/03) - Author. Mr. Plimpton was a well respected author as well as a patron to Philip Roth, Jack Kerouac and many other writers. Mr. Plimpton also appeared in both movies and on TV. We once read one of his books about some guy who had a really fast but uncontrollable pitching arm. Let's just say Plimpton was no Ted Geisel. Now there's a guy whose books really stimulate the intellect.
GORDON JUMP (9/22/03) - Actor. Mr. Jump played the boss man on WKRP in Cincinnati and the Maytag Repairman. What's worse, being a piñata for Dr. Johnny Fever's one liners or never getting called to fix your mom's dishwasher. Oh, right, or having pulmonary fibrosis. Guess we know the answer to that one.
BERNARD MANISCHEWITZ (9/20/03) - Kosher Food Guy. Mr. Manischewitz made sweet wine and matzo (and other yummies too). This dude was the Passover king. If Jesus H. was around today, he'd be bummed about Bernard going down. Betcha he broke a few parve breads and sipped a bit 'o this wine in his day. Well, what can we say but "Man, Oh, Man.......
SHEB WOOLEY (9/16/03) - Actor, Singer. Mr. Wooley appeared in numerous westerons on both the big and small screen. But the thing we like most about Sheb (besides his goofy ass name), is his singing career. Never heard of him? Perhaps his suspected (by us) cause of death may shed some light.....It was a one eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater!
CHARLES "CHAPPIE" FOX (9/12/03) - Launched the Circus World Museum. Mr. Fox spent his life promoting the circus in Milwaukee. Woo Hoo. Hold us back. Whadda star. One cool thing, fifteen clowns actually step out of the coffin at the service. How DO they do that?
JOHNNY CASH (9/12/03) - Musician. Mr. Cash was, simply put, Cool (with an intentional capital C). Here's a guy that, although very different from The Chairman of the Board (both musically and personally), had a similar larger than life image which he consistently lived up to. Known as "The Man in Black," Cash influenced countless musicians. Just give a listen to "I Walk the Line" or "Ring of Fire." Damn! Well Johnny, at least you're dressed for the occasion
JOHN RITTER (9/11/03) - Actor. Mr. Ritter's career took off when he landed the role of Jack in the 1970s television series "Three's Company." Ritter later appeared in several movies and most recently was starred in the televison series (he died of a heart attack on the set) "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter." ....Where the kisses are her's, and her's and, oh well, three is company, two......
LARRY HOVIS (9/9/03) - Actor. Mr. Hovis played Sgt. Carter on the television series Hogan's Heroes. Additionally, Larry taught at Texas State University - San Marcos. We would have sent out his obit earlier but every time we interviewed his former co-worker all the guy said was "I know nothing, NOTHING!" Go figure.
EDWARD TELLER (9/9/03) - Father of H-Bomb. Mr. Teller was instrumental in the development of the H-Bomb (aka "The Bomb"). Edward's avid pursuit of The Bomb was fueled by two events which formed his world view; the communist revolution in Hungary and the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s. Teller lived in both countries during the respective events. We're unclear exactly when he learned magic and how he hooked up with that tubby Penn Jillette.
LENI RIEFENSTAHL (9/8/03) - Film maker/Nazi. "Nothing at all." We understand that's what we're supposed to say when we have nothing nice to say.
WARREN ZEVON (9/7/03) - Musician. Mr. Zevon was one of numerous singer/song writers to emerge from 1970's Los Angeles. His work is quirky, witty and humourous. Warren's songs include the hit "Werewolves of London," and "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," "Life'll Kill Ya" and "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead." If any of you plan to be in Denver in the future, send our regards.
CHARLES BRONSON (8/30/03) - Actor. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Mr. Bronson appeared in numerous westerns, most notably "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Dirty Dozen." However, most folks know Charles for the popular vigilante film, "Death Wish," and its sequels. Betcha Bronson is just a little pissed that his fairy godmother is so thorough, eh?
IDI AMIN (8/16/03) - Brutal African President. Amin was a boxing champ and a soldier in the British colonial army. In 1971 he took over the presidency of Uganda. Eight years and approximately 500,000 bodies later he left power unwillingly and went into exile. Guess where. Yup, our old pals the Saudis. Jeesh, with friends like these.....
GREGORY HINES (8/9/03) - Dancer, Actor. Mr. Hines was a tap dancer and actor. Gregory and his brother were a well known tap team thorughout the 1970s and 1980s. Mr. Hines won a Tony for his work in "Jelly's Last Jam" and appeared in several movies including "White Nights" and "Running Scared." Besides wearing them, Gergory will soon be hearing taps.
SAM PHILLIPS (7/30/03) - Rock N' Roll pioneer. Mr. Phillips is credited with discovering Elvis. Now for those of you who think, "Hey what's the big deal, Elvis was a big load who was easily discovered," we're talking about the young, thin Elvis. Heck, they call Sam the "Man who invented Rock N' Roll." Of course, we much prefer that screwdriver he came up with.
BOB HOPE (7/27/03) - Actor, Comedian. What can you say about Bob Hope? A funny guy, a model citizen, a legend, and a guy who held many of us on the edge of our seats for several years. Mr. Hope's career in entertainment started in the 1920s with vaudeville. Bob made his film debut in 1938 with "The First Big Broadcast of 1938." He also starred in the first of a successful string of "Road to" films with Bing Crosby. Anyone wanna take a stab at which "road to" Bob is on now?
CAROL SHIELDS (7/17/03) - Author. Ms. Shields wrote tales of average, ordinary, middle-class people (interesting, huh?). Carol won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1993 book, "The Stone Diaries." Apparently, the last entry in the diary is about a particular type of stone.
CELIA CRUZ (7/16/03) - Salsa Queen. Ms. Cruz was the Queen of salsa. She had a Grammy under her belt and could clearly rock the house. Plus, if you had a coupla of tortilla chips and a keg, you could really enjoy the spicy tomato flavoring. But please, no double dipping. A little respect.
BENNY CARTER (7/12/03) - Jazz Musician. Mr. Carter not only won two Grammy Awards, he got the a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award too. Benny's alto sax playing placed him among the top altoists in jazz. Carter wrote music for and/or played with many of the greats including Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie. Additionally, he had a fondness for peanuts and a wacky brother with that cheap beer.
BUDDY EBSEN (7/6/03) - Actor. Mr. Ebsen almost played the tin man in the "Wizard of OZ." Chances are you know him better as Davey Crockett's side kick, Barnaby Jones or Jed Clampett. That reminds us...Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed, guess what folks, he's dead.
BARRY WHITE (7/4/03) - Singer. Mr. White is best known for his deep, baritone, voice and his sexually charged tunes. If you thought Barry could get deep before the kidney failure, you should get a load of him now.
BUDDY HACKETT (6/30/03) - Comedian. Mr. Hackett was a Borscht Belt comedian who started making a name for himself on TV. Buddy ended up with an over 50 year career as a nightclub standard, a frequent casino headliner, and a movie funny man. Talk about some great movies: "The Music Man," "The Love Bug," "The Little Mermaid," and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." Buddy also did a stint on Broadway in "Viva Madison Avenue" and "I Had a Ball." Buddy, ya had a pulse too. "Had" being the operative word.
KATHERINE HEPBURN (6/29/03) - Actress. Ms. Hepburn was a classic. A great actress (actor) by any standards. The great work with Specner Tracy. The 12 Academy Award nominations for best actress. The four Oscars. And, that swell picture with Sid Poitier. Anyone wanna guess who's not coming to dinner?
STROM THURMOND (6/26/03) - Senator. Mr. Thurmond once ran for president. Mr. Thurmond was once a segregationist. Mr. Thurmond started in politics in the late 1920s. But, and this one amazes us, Strom's big claim to fame is the fact that he served 47 years and 5 months in the senate. Repeat after us, "Term Limits."
LESTER MADDOX (6/25/03) - Segregationist. Here's a guy who used ax handles and guns to scare black people away from his restaurant in the 1960s. The guy closed and finally sold his Pickrick fried chicken restaurant in Atlanta rather than serve blacks. So what happens, he becomes governor from 1967 to 1971. Guess who takes his place in '71. Yup, Jimmy Carter. Man, Georgia is screwed up.
ROGER NEILSON (6/21/03) - Hockey Player/Coach. Yup, Roger was one heck of a hockey dude. He was a Hall of Famer and coached eight teams over 25 seasons. All this while running that TV ratings thing too. Wow.
LEON URIS (6/21/03) - Author. Mr. Uris authored "Topaz," "QBVII," "Mila 18," and "Trinity." However, he is best known for his novel "Exodus." Seems Leon took a little Exodus of his own.
PAUL DAISLEY (6/18/03) - British Politician. Mr. Daisley was a Labor Party legislator. Paul was elected to Parliament in 2001 from the Brent East area of London. Although a member of Labor, Paul is maintaining a long Tory tradition of keeping a stiff upper lip (as well as a rather rigid lower torso).
LARRY DOBY (06/18/03) - Baseball Player. Mr. Doby was the first black man to play baseball in the American League. Interestingly, he was also the first black man to play basketball for the American Basketball League. He was also a seven time All-Star and a Hall of Famer for his baseball playing. Not to mention the job he did playing that little elf who looked like Vladimir Putin in the last Harry Potter movie.
HUME CRONYN (6/16/03) - Actor. Mr Cronyn was a seasoned actor with roots in the theater. Of course most of you know him from that crappy Cocoon movie. We much preferred his work in The World According to Garp. As for *batteries not included, we think they probably were included. They just ran out.
TONY ROMA (6/13/03) - Rib Guy. Mr. Roma took a North Miami rib joint from local restaurant to an international eatery. With the help of a Texas financier, Tony made his rib place a household name in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Apparently, Tony will be cremated over an open pit with a tasty barbeque sauce. Mmmm, Mmmm.
GREGORY PECK (6/12/03) – Actor. Mr. Peck is true celebrity. Roman Holiday! Twelve O'Clock High! To Kill a Mockingbird! Wow!. The guy got four academy award nominations back when they mattered. Gregory also served as president of the Motion Picture Academy and was active in the Motion Picture and Television Fund and American Cancer Society. We’re uncertain of Mr. Peck’s cause of death but we hear Boo Radley has been brought in for questioning.
DAVID BRINKLEY (6/11/03) - TV Journalist. Mr. Brinkley became a household name as a TV newsman in the 1950s. The “Huntley-Brinkley Report,” which David hosted along with Chet Huntley was a 1950s phenomenon. Later of course, Brinkley traded in his news credentials for a bikini and a brief marriage to Billy Joel. What a sell out.
DONALD REGAN (6/10/03) - Former Treasury Secretary and Chief of Staff. Mr. Regan went from chairman of Merrill Lynch to being a key player in the Reagan Whitehouse. Regan always blamed Nancy for his removal as Chief of Staff. Actually, we think it was Sluggo. That is, if you wanna call selling arms to release hostages through a Contra to Iran connection "Sluggo."
CLASSY FREDDIE BLASSIE (6/2/03) - Wrestler. Mr. Blassie was among the fathers of Pro. Wrestling. Additionally the guy managed wrestlers, cut records, and acted in a picture with Andy Kaufman. In his wrestling days, they called Freddie "The Vampire" becuase he often drew blood. Clearly we can now see he is not among the undead.
MOMIR TALIC (05/29/03) - Alleged war criminal. Serbian General Momir Talic was charged by the U.N. with war crimes related to genocide. Whadda guy. If his name reminds you of Tad Szulc, we completely understand.
JUNE CARTER CASH (05/15/03) - June Carter Cash - Singer. Ms. Cash was a country singer. She was also married to the great Johnny Cash. This lady co-wrote "Ring of Fire." Damn, that’s good. She also is the other half on Johnny’s famous duets, If I Were a Carpenter and If I Had a Hammer. Anyone seeing a theme here?
ROBERT STACK (05/14/03) - Actor. Mr. Stack appeared in numerous movies. He started out playing tough guys but wasn't above humor. Mr. Stack appeared in both "Caddy Shack" and "Airplane." However, Robert is best known for his work known for his work as Elliot Ness on TV's "The Untouchables." Stack was nominated for an Oscar for his work in "Written on the Wind." He lost to Anthony Quinn for his work in "Lust for Life."Considering Quinn died in 2001, we're thinking Stack had a bit more lust.
DAME WENDY HILLER (5/14/03) - Actress. Ms. Hiller was among Britain's finest actresses. George Bernard Shaw cast Wendy as Eliza Doolittle in "Pygmalion" both on stage and on screen. Wendy also won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in "Separate Tables." Frankly, in her current state, we're rather glad she's at a seperate table.
NOEL REDDING (5/11/03) - Musician. Mr. Redding played bass guitar for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. We're talking Sixties man. We're talking Monterey Pop Festival. We're talking Woodstock. We're talking peace, love, and flowers in our hair. Oh well, you can't live in the past. Apparently, Noel, you can't live in the present either.
MARY CHRISTIAN (04/20/03) - Old Person. Up until Sunday, April 20, Mary was the oldest person in the United States. Does that make her a celebrity? Not really. She is on a coupla a lists though. Plus, she saw the great San Francisco earthquake. That's gotta count for something. Here's a quote from her nurse, "I guess it was just her time." Now you tell us what compels people to say that would ya?
ROBERT ATKINS (04/17/03) - Diet Guru. Mr. Atkins made a name for himself by telling people to eat lots of eggs, cheese and meat while avoiding things like bread and potatos. Although the official word is that Atkins went into a coma following a fall, we suspect that Wonder and Ore-ida had a hand in this whole thing.
JOHN BUTLER (04/11/03) - San Diego Chargers' General Manager. Who filled the position of GM for the Chargers? Who helped build the 1990s Buffalo Bill's multiple Super Bowl teams? Who served in Vietnam in the Marines? Who died of lung cancer at too young an age? The Butler did it.
EDWIN STARR (04/01/03) - Singer. Mr. Starr was among the first artists to be signed by Motown Records. Edwin is best known for his 1970's hit, War. Ya know, "War, Heh, what is it good for?" Apparently, pissing off the French.
MICHAEL JETER (03/30/03) - Actor. Mr. Jeter was a character actor who played parts in the television shows Evening Shade and Sesame Street. He also had parts in the movies Patch Adams, The Green Mile, and The Fisher king. We especially liked Mike's work in Dead Bang. Apparently, that's exactly the kind of bang to which Mike needs to grow accustomed.
DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN (03/26/03) - Former Senator from New York. Mr. Moynihan was an interesting guy. Dan was a pillar of the Democrat party. At the same time, he was a life long proponent of welfare reform and an opponent of the welfare state. Dan also had an early recognition of the relationship between numerous social pathologies and their resulting outcomes...poverty and joblessness. Like his policies or not, Mr. Moynihan was a good politician and a thoughtful guy. Try picking ten of them from the Senate today. Crap, try picking one.
RONALD FERGUSON (03/16/03) - Sarah Ferguson's Dad. He taught Prince Charles Polo and his kid is the Duchess of York. Big whoop-de-doo. We're not making any accusations here, but has anyone else notice Ferggie getting a little chunky again?
LYNNE THIGPEN (03/12/03) - Actress. Ms. Thigpen won a Tony for her work in the play "An American Daughter" and later went on to recreate the role for TV. Lynne also co-starred in the TV series "The District." But the thing we'll always remember Ms. Thigpen for is her work as the Chief in the PBS series "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" Apparently, Lynne has taken that search to a new extreme.
FRED ROGERS (02/27/03) - Television Personality. Mr. Rogers, with his goofy sweater and tennis sneakers, hosted Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, a PBS staple, for 34 years. With characters such as Mr. McFeely and Lady Elaine Fairchilde (a puppet), Fred tried to teach kids about life, values, and all that other swell stuff. Unlike today's kids shows, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was very slow paced. However, it wasn't as slow paced as Mr. Rogers' new neighborhood is going to be.
JOHN MCMORRAN (02/24/03) - Oldest American. Mr. McMorran was 113. The man lived in three centuries, albiet not for very long in two of them. In our humble opinion, Mr. McMorran wasn't really all that famous and isn't really a celebrity. However, he's on a list and he got an AP obit, so he gets listed. Anyway, the guy was born into a time in America where the Civil war was still a relevant, though fading, topic and died in a world a world where The Osbornes stole a season of televsion ratings. Man, we've come a long way.
JOHNNY PAYCHECK (02/18/03) - Country Singer/Song Writer. Mr. Paycheck recorded some 70 albums over the years. His most famous tune is undoubtedly the classic Take This Job and Shove It. Johnny served 2 years in prison for shooting a fella in the head in a bar room fight in the 1980s. Additionally, Johnny was sued by the IRS for back taxes and, early in life, was court-martialed and imprisoned for two years for slugging a naval officer. Take this plot and shovel it, he ain't working here, or anywhere else for that matter, no more.
RON ZIEGLER (02/10/03) - Political Press Secretary. Well if there were two jobs you'd never want to hold, they would be press secretary for Nixon and press secretary for Clinton. Seems Nixon's cashed out first. Mr. Ziegler said Watergate was a "third-rate burglary." Yeah Ron, well it was a first rate scandal, that's for sure. Some believe that Ron was the famed "Deep Throat." Regardless, he's deep now. Way deep.
ROBERT ROCKWELL (01/25/03) - Actor. Mr. Rockwell played "Philip Boynton," the biology teacher and love interest in the sitcom Our Miss Brooks. Robert also appeared in the sitcoms Diff'rent Strokes and Growing Pains and on the soaps Days of Our Lives and Search for Tomorrow. We're thinking Bob mighta spent a little less time searching for tomorrow if he knew this was coming.
GIANNI AGNELLI (01/24/03) - Patriarch of Fiat Auto. Mr. Agnelli headed a company that, at one time, made some popular European cars. Who can forget the little Fiat Spider. Certainly not your mechanic, who probably saw the car more than you did if you owned one. Regardless, Fiat is Italy's largest private-sector employer. However, in the last several years the auto company has lacked vigor and experienced failing health. Kinda like Gianni.
NELL CARTER (01/23/03) - Actress. Ms. Carter was nominated for an Emmy for her work in the 1980's sitcom, Gimme a Break. Besides being an actress, Nell was an accompolished singer who, earlier in life had hoped to pursue opera. In fact, Nell won a Tony award for her work in the play, Ain't Misbehavin'. For the record, not only is Nell not misbehavin', she ain't behavin'. Heck, she ain't even breathing.
BILL MAULDIN (01/22/03) - Cartoonist. Mr. Mauldin was one of the 20th Century's pre-eminent editorial cartoonists. His illustrations of soldiers Willie and Joe depicted the tedious and often treacherous face of World War II through humor. Interestingly, Bill drew those cartoons as a soldier fighting the war. Mr. Mauldin was a non-conformist who once described himself as, "as independent as a hog on ice." Now he's about the same temperature as one also.
EDDIE JOHNSON (01/21/03) - Football Player. Mr. Johnson played for the Cleveland Browns as a linebacker. During his tenure with the NFL, Eddie was known as "The Assassin" because of his tough tackles. In '84 Mr. Johnson led the Browns in tackles (172). This fella made tackling guys seem easy. Obviously, tackling colon cancer proved a bit harder.
NEDRA VOLZ (01/20/03) - Actress. Ms. Volz made a career out of playing "the little old lady with the bun in her hair." She pulled it off as a postmistress in The Dukes of Hazzard and again as the housekeeper (the second one) on Diff'rent Strokes. She also did it for her reoccurring role in The Fall Guy. Oh yeah, in 1988 Nedra played Helen in the picture Mortuary Academy. Apparently, she graduated.
AL HIRSCHFELD (01/20/03) - Cartoonist. Mr. Hirschfeld has been gracing the pages of many newspapers, magazines, T-shirts, and coffee mugs for years. His trademark line drawn, black and white caricatures have captured actors, authors, and other famous folks likely to appear on some Death Watch lists. Al's parting words were said to be "Nina, Nina, Nina."
RICHARD CRENNA (01/17/03) - Actor. You probably remember Mr. Crenna best as Rambo's mentor in the Stallone series of movies. On TV Richard starred in The Real McCoys. Richard also appeared in the films Wait Until Dark, The Flamingo Kid, The Sand Pebbles, and Hot Shots! Part Deux. Did we mention Mr. Crenna's work on the 1980 classic Death Ship. Most folks just keel over, this guy takes a boat. Go figure.
MAURICE GIBB (01/12/03) - Musician. Mr. Gibb was one of the members of the 1960-1970s turned disco band The Bee Gees. The Bee Gees did some okay stuff early on and then they did some real crap (which may make the manner in which Mr. Gibb passed on somewhat punny). It would be simple to ask why Maurice isn't "Staying Alive?" But, we'd rather point out that when one inquires "How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?" typically a blocked intestine is not the answer that comes to mind.
JEAN KERR (01/05/03) - Playwright and author. Ms. Kerr was noted for her self-deprecating humor about show business and suburbia. She wrote several plays including the 1960's hit "Mary, Mary." In fact, the play become one of the longest-running productions of that decade. Oh yeah, she also wrote "Please Don't Eat the Daisies," a book that went on to become a movie and a TV show. The book, a collection of essays from the 1950's is currently in line for a re-release under the new title, "Please Don't Eat the Daisies I'm Pushing Up."
SID GILLMAN (01/03/03) - Hall of Fame football coach. Mr. Gillman coached the LA Rams from 1955-59 and the Chargers in LA and San Diego from 1960-69 and again in 1971. Sid had a 123-104-7 record. He was among the first to analyze game film to prepare strategy. Unfortunately for Sid, he was stopped at the 91 year line.
SYDNEY OMARR (01/02/03) - Astrologer. Mr. Omarr's horoscopes appeared in more than 200 newspapers across the U.S. Sydney became fascinated with numerology and astrology as a teen. He even wrote a book called Sydney Omarr's Private Course on Numerology, and sold copies for $2. Omarr later became a full-time columnist and astrological consultant to Hollywood stars. You woulda figured he'd have seen this coming, huh?
ROYCE APPLEGATE (01/01/03) - Actor. Mr. Applegate co-starred in the TV series SeaQuest DSV. In addition, Royce played character rolls in shows such as Charlie's Angels, Dallas, Little House on the Prairie, and Home Improvement. Mr. Applegate also appeared in Splash, History of the World: Part I, Gettysburg and The Rookie. After spending time with Charlie's Angels, we're guessing Royce might be a little disappointed with the angels he'll be associating with now.
JOE FOSS (01/01/03) - War Hero. Mr. Foss was a World War II flying ace who later became governor of South Dakota, served as president of the National Rifle Association, and was commissioner of the American Football League. Joe Foss.....Grow moss.