Category Archives: Obituaries

Celebrity Passings of 2019

Before the month is over, I wanted to remember the many beloved celebrities and artists who passed away in 2019 (You can see a separate list of the Star Trek family who passed away this past year here). It always bugs me that magazines and media cover these passings before the year is over, so I always wait until January to make a tribute here. Some you may have heard of, some you haven’t, but if anything good can come of one’s passing, it’s the acknowledgment of their gifts. So now, we say goodnight to the many others who made our lives a little happier with their celebrity careers. Bless them all and Thank You. ❤

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January 4th, Louisa Mortiz, Actress,
(One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, M*A*S*H)
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January 9th, Verna Bloom, 80.
(High Plains Drifter, Animal House)
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January 9th, Paul Koslo, 74.
(The Omega Man, Rooster Cogburn)
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January 13th, Rip Taylor, 88, Zany Comedian and Actor,
(The Monkees, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Duck Tales Movie)
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January 15th Carol Channing, 97, Legendary and Effervescent Actress of Broadway, TV and Movies. Original Dolly Levi of Hello Dolly, Original Lorelai in Gentleman Prefer Blonds, (The First Traveling Saleslady, Thoroughly Modern Millie) I adored Carol!
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January 15th, Bradley Bolke, 93. The voice of Chumley the Walrus (on Tenneseee Tuxedo) and so many more
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January 22nd, Kevin Barnett, 32. Comedian and writer.
(Broad City, Rel.)
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January 21st, Kaye Ballard, Singer, Actress, Comedienne, 93, (Cinderella (1957), The Mothers in Law, The Doris Day Show).
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January 21st, Russel Baker, 93, Pulitzer Prize winning Author and Journalist.
(So this is Depravity, Growing Up).
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January 29th, James Ingram, 66. Soul and R&B Singer. (Find 100 Ways, Baby Come to Me)
February 1st, Lisa Seagram, 84, Actress, (Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, Batman)
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February 3rd, Kristoff St. John, 52, Actor.
(The Young and the Restless)
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February 4th, Nita Beiber, 92, Dancer and Actress (Rhythm and Weep, Summer Stock).
Albert Finney in Tom Jones (1963)
February 7th, Albert Finney, 82, Actor,
(Tom Jones, Scrooge, Erin Brokovich, Skyfall).
February 10th, Jan Michael Vincent, 73, Actor,
(The World’s Greatest Athlete, Airwolf)
February 24th, Peter Tork, 77, Folk Musician and member of The Monkees (and my favorite Monkee) (For Pete’s Sake)
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February 25th, Mark Hollis 64, Writer and Lead Singer of Talk Talk (It’s My Life, Life’s What You Make It)
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February 19th, Karl Lagerfeld, 85, Photographer and
Fashion Designer for Chanel.
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February 21st, Stanley Donan, 94. Oscar Winning Director,
(Singin’ in the Rain, Funny Face, The Pajama Game, Charade, Arabesque, Bedazzled)
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February 26th, Mitzi Hoag, 86, Actress,
(Here Comes the Brides, We’ll Get By).
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February 27th Nathaniel Taylor, 80. (Sanford & Son, What’s Happening?, The Redd Foxx Show)
March 2nd, Janice Freeman, 33. Singer and Performer
(The Voice, Pitch Perfect 3)
Keith Flint
March 3rd, Keith Flint, 49, Composer and Actor, (Firestarter, Breathe)
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March 4th, Luke Perry, Actor, 52.
(Beverly Hills 90210, Riverdale)
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March 4th, King Kong Bundy, 63, (Christopher Alan Pallies) Wrestler.
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March 5th, Susan Harrison, 80, Actress. (The Sweet Smell of Success, The Twilight Zone)
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March 9th, Jed Allan, 84, Actor,
(Beverly Hills 90210,
Days of Our Lives, Santa Barbara).
March 11th, Hal Blaine, 90, Legendary Session Drummer with over 6000 credited singles. (here with George Harrison)
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March 22nd, June Harding, 80, Actress. The Trouble with Angels (seen here at left, with Hayley Mills)
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March 22nd, Scott Walker, 76, Influential, deep voiced Singer and lead of The Walker Brothers (The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore , JoAnna, Jackie)
Denise DuBarry Hay
March 23rd, Denise DuBarry, 63, Actress and Producer, (Being There, Black Sheep Squadron, CHiPs) Former wife of Gary Lockwood.
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March 24th, Nancy Gates, 93, Actress. (Some Came Running, Suddenly)
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March 30th, Tania Mallet, 77 Actress and Model, (Goldfinger)
March 31st, Nipsy Hussle, 33, Rapper, Entrepreneur, Activist
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April 4th Roberta Haynes, 91. Actress (Return to Paradise, The Nebraskan)
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Dennis Day, former Mousketeer, 75,
disappeared July 2018,
body found April 7th, 2019
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April 14th, Bibi Andersson, 83, Actress. (Persona, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries)
April 15th, Georgia Engel, 70. Actress and Dancer.
(The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Everybody Loves Raymond).
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April 16th, Fay McKenzie, 101, Actress,
(Down Mexico Way Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Party)
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April 24th, Anne Neyland, Actress, (Jailhouse Rock, Highway Patrol, Sea Hunt).
April 25th, Larry “Flash” Jenkins, 63, Actor and Producer. (Fletch, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Bay City Blues)
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April 28th, John Singleton, 51 American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor.
(Boyz in the Hood, Poetic Justice, Shaft)
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nWY3LDZdMgbmBbw5+SHo1onLBce6yBB8VCjT77S6S6HTaxvAhalrd6FcNzNL6mRuskF2hjZEVOIvMycoABI+Uc/CUNiKxzNp3g6gWuLtEcyZt0VjasiXXNi4E2DyZsJmQEQ/wCNPBUe+45oPd2GpGl/1ZG1sNYwSSbXKAwTSCCIiA0m8l8Sf7oEDzCOx1aBIRZNOflkmU0zMbgX0qbhnknlsOS5c0nNEdV0rcXMg7oHGYWPduSlj0ztB4Wg6CZtyQ+Mol99IWjh6DtDZDYnM02uj2GV+zdSkiv2k8kk9jt0Hs6Y7Yf9wrdaVgcGEVa7f559VsEE6GLiY3HJOovkWFJoVTXKwFJKacKIUggwuNAI2sCD581h1QM2XY/7TK1cTVsTOp21g7rCx0mWggluh5gR8bqc3ocE60NZinENAEjLefG8pMEAuZBv3hsfPmoYbEMFNma8tgwCd79InlyVlmzk5330GsE9VcO9eiq0fvNaQdTmKtptJaADYj47jr6q6vVAHQHcDXeFS3FOJgAD/wBgUvCCzAAjvHUzsNbKD3w0EG3xA5kK6ox4M5QJdBO5b16Iduoc0xJi9iYuI8fyR8ZVRHOSCRrqBvGx8CmpMOQl7xLicsbEdfyVDqhLsolokgzq4x4A6HRXUHtdlbBF9rDLGruehSmMi70Lw7nNEEEkwJ1mPlqguI1MtMRBMkRrJJt4laLqjQ28wBHL8llso54e+YnuDS34iVTKZdicFSLGAuH2jhYHUeWw3VGJeKZJm4YGj+WSSfMoycre4MziNbm3isDGOjtSZvlMAzcg2ne6Va8WMXYGg4uNTMQCZ/8AIxy5xbzKNDe0dcBrWkxBjTQR47qhjBTptE6Hfm4tkk+IPxROEeM0TLLFtuultoUyLyyutiu4A11gBZpO8kkxGmpWn2YcB+tFi4sB8XJgxO4HIA6my2OHk5YOxiefVX6cnNj+OwzuGiZVzcG0GUWolS5Q1bDgrBr02ufl6ro6okLOo4CCTukqA/3Q3oktP9mKSAycNbF1ANC0FbAWPhf/ALVQz90Ba4KtNWAq1hVIU2lIhAKk42VTCpzsg55ZOKc4uImAIsQDIWViKUZiRbXoeRHIrUxLHtcWm4m1pkbX2QWMaSDyiI3tqEsnpcd0HoVQaJa095rpEcnDT5orCFzWXHe+N5HksbhVUCtkIIztgdXAyPhK3q7rCdxMRO8E/kniu/S1+IIcAANBabHUR6kq2uC83MEdLHohq1TLBFp36WtI8vVSoOcQS42OgPMlPy58sPZq1Vr3AEx+LmI2TcSxfdAa2MpEdORPJC4to7TPoJudiY0KCxVYmAQRB0OhBi5Uyaq+OXfdQaXl4J1EkaHe+i3Q3cC+9+XU9Vn4WpbO0QJIHO9iBI6g+qJxQytygzHvEeNyfFUOTLd1PJZG1TckNFv/ACP0V9QSBBIGgvsW6wORKjhqodDYgTt029EXiKbA5rqegn1O5St0nXxur5AVn5WG4BvEwdTrHguddU+1BqQZDXW3vaRvz9FtYrDGpabl1r2v+isTFUKgxcFtgA0n7sXMpOiWSNqlTD5MCzrA6H+YiPhoiuxNiahBE6AZfAD66Qp0KUA5yDmuSPz57pPOYZWxa28nTT5oZ3P99BxUdmIaZ8AGmSb3/Wy2+HvkH9aAA/EFZAeQcuZ8akgXB/QWnQrta4MgyRMlPbHl1ZqDioFOag5pknGgVW90KuvUIIUnOtKRrM6SD/aOiSRsbC2xlXq0FbjVgVxlxrT+Jkei3WrRNXBTaqgptSJaFXiXgC5gEwpSqMa6wB0Jg+iIvjn5RCriqTmxJaRPNAZZAMk66XGvzVTi45Q03uPMGJ9FbisO4d4WgXA63KK7pJHNcXqnMHgiWkGQbCIgLo6GK7RjSIh7fHque4xSBbOoiLfn1Wn7NYQ/sYe3ao8+QP1lEaZWSTbRouJm3UTuLZvPRKvjGczA96LxNuen0QmMqAMmRa4iNTbnogHVpJaHWJHS51npdGzmEvY+vWzMi/e8ecoCpUJPfcDH4umifF4gMHf8GgXLgNNVXgqbHHM9pcSbATlb6aoZ5al/HyMp4xzg4U2uMmxAsNzlC0uHta0GHajvE6zfX1VVOsGbsE2GWPQRf1VFV33Xe8X2N/iCjZTC27FvABJZNjOsNBNhbqqKhfLiHaC4JgX5eSizEZx3vd2A3gxJ6oTGV4Abqcsm8x+EIraYfazG1cjW5TECTP4tY+K1sKGinTqlofnjMTqPVclxOuXakkhsAeFiUfwuu54Yx57s2E8tjyup1up5OOWS10VKowuLTDW2cII5zv4KoVqDX++QRBsDGm/VTZTae41g0gkGwB5meaq4hiWsYG02iSILom2ljzgKtM9butHq4ynfUugkuNh0sieDNkS65IOuwm3gslgzODnQYaHeJPzstvhAt5CfGSmnl6w6GhoGyYqZUCk4VbmobFtMIpyDrOJ2soqoDukp/tHRJY7n2vtl8ZJFeiR+IhbbVz/H8QzPR7zbP/ELLZGMpfxGf1t+q6qz9CwrAgxxCj/Gp/1t+qQ4nQ/j0v8AEZ9UkjVRjRLd7GbbdVT+98N/+ij/AIjPqq6/G8KAP+YomT/FZ66pxeH9ogxozZtA0b6km8qGKxE33B1GsTpbSZVWK4tgzriqZvs4ERysTbyQlfieFiW4ikP7wt5J12yzzWLxVlyCCNT+guv9im/8mzeS8+EuNlyGNxlBxP29M7SDqEfwT2jo0KPZCowuLiR3gAJ5kpaL/IylwklV4+e2exgIAcdbgeMqupXFPuiHP3Js0fVBca4mC7/rU3Zrns3AiTrJCHoYyifeqgHXr4JaVhnuSW6g9tb7xGdxGpNmomljoiAJHe0MLIfi6FvtRBsYMEdVW3GUv43PUm3LxR23xvHJ6b54k0m/QnxGkwOiZ+LDjmLpJv0kaR+tlzjsbS2qj4366JmcRp/xLeB+iXavlh9txnEIEADfrc8t1XVr7kiNvpCyP3jS/iT0h0fJP+8KETnvyh3zhHxovJh9j+1zu7u25GngFsYBgi7bEHMIuYBK5qnxSiD75iQT3XX6m3wW1g/aTChpzVC03juP0I6DxCclZ58uPqujZWptaGDNlMnQ620PS6ubQpPBGYyZ1BHXnHl1WBS9rsKLOqFw/s3CI8Pop1vbHBwcjnAxE5XaWETGluSeqxuU+/8Ao6pVA7tgQMpnQjp1C3ODD7P6GdLLj6vtdg3TOaQJByEknkbI7h/ttgWNjM8SZjIU9VHNnMsenYKJXMn2/wAD+Kp/hn6qB/8AkDBc6v8AR/qp1XJp0VQxdCYmuYMLDf7f4LlW/oH+ZAf8b4WT3axB/lb/AJ0vjTdD2w/CmXN/8aYXlW/oZ/mSS+F+jedpJJLcEkkkgHSakkgQ6mNEkkEZOkkgzJ06SCpikUkkAwSSSTIgkkkhZJJJIBBJJJBEkEkkAkydJAJJJJAJJJJAf//Z
April 28th, Jo Sullivan, 91, Actress, Singer, and widow of Composer Frank Loesser,
(The Most Happy Fella, The Ed Sullivan Show)
Peter Mayhew
April 30th, Peter Mahew, 74, Actor, (Chewbacca in Star Wars)
May 5th, Barbara Perry, 97, Actress and Dancer, (The first Pickles Sorrell on
The Dick Van Dyle Show)
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May 6th, Kip Niven, 73, Actor
(Alice, Magnum P.I.)
Jim Fowler, left, and Marlin Perkins, who teamed up on the television show “Wild Kingdom” to bring the natural world into American living rooms.
May 8th, Jim Fowler, 87, Zoologist, (left) Here with Marlin Perkins) on Wild Kingdom, and occasional guest on The Tonight Show
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May 9th, Allene Roberts, 90, Actress,
(Knock On Any Door, Adventures of Superman)
May 11th, Peggy Lipton, 72, Actress, (Mod Squad, Twin Peaks), and Mother of actress Rashida Jones
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May 13th, Doris Day, Singer, Actress, and Animal Rights Activist (Pillow Talk, Love Me or Leave Me, Midnight Lace, That Touch of Mink, The Thrill of it All, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,
The Doris Day Show and so many more)
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May 14th, Tim Conway 85, Actor and Physical Comedian Extraordinaire,
(McHale’s Navy, The Carol Burnett Show, Mama’s Family)
Bobby Diamond
May 15, Bobby Diamond, 75, Actor, (Fury, The Twilight Zone)
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May 16th, I.M. Pei, 102, Architect
(Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, The Lourve Pyramid)
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May 26, Bart Starr, 85, Quarterback, Green Bay Packers
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May 29th, Peggy Stewart, 95, Actress
(Red River Renegades, All this and Heaven Too).
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May 30th, Leon Redbone, 69, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor specializing in jazz, blues, and Tin Pan Alley classics.
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June 6th, Dr. John, 77, Singer, Songwriter, (Right Place -Wrong Time, The Last Waltz, The Wreaking Crew)
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July 6th, Cameron Boyce, Actor,
(The Descendants, Runt)
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June 15th, Bob Dorian, 85, Actor, Magician, Host of American Movie Classics
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June 17th Gloria Vanderbilt, 95, Heiress, artist, socialite,
actress, fashion designer, and mother of Anderson Cooper.
June 18th, Milton Quon, 105, Animator, Visual Effects designer for Disney,
(Dumbo, Fantasia)
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June 19, Etika, (Desmond Daniel Amofah) 29, YouTuber, streamer and model.
Image result for Judith Krantz
June 22nd, Judith Krantz, 91, Author,
(Princess Daisy, Scruples, Mistral’s Daughter)
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June 24th Billy Drago, 73, Actor,
(The Untouchables, Pale Rider, The Hills Have Eyes)
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June 26th, Max Wright, 75, Actor
(Misfits of Science, ALF)
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DlT1GuSW0AEjZ_W.jpg
July 3rd, Arte Johnson, 90, Actor ,Voice Actor, Comedian,
( Laugh-In, Love American Style)
July 6th, Eddie Jones, Actor
(Lois and Clark…Superman, The Rocketeer,
The Singing Detective)
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July 9th, Rip Torn, 88, Actor,
(King of Kings, Sweet Bird of Youth, Men in Black I,II,III)
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July 9th, H. Ross Perot, 89 Texas Billionaire,
Independent Candidate for President 1992 and 1996.
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July 10th, Valentina Cortese, 96, Actress,
(The Barefoot Cotessa, Juliet of the Spirits,
The Adventures of Baron Münchhausen)
https://doyouremember.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/violet-758x394.png
July 10th, Denise Nickerson, 62, Actress, (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Electric Company, The Brady Bunch, Dark Shadows)
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July 18th, David Hedison, 92, Actor (The Fly, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Live and Let Die)
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July 23rd, Gabe Couth, 46, Actor , Voice Actor,
(Once Upon a Time, Power Puff Girls Z)
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July 29th, Rutger Hauer, 75, Actor, (Blade Runner,
Ladyhawke, Keetje Tipell, Nighthawks
)
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August 16th, Peter Fonda, 79, Actor and Activist
(I loved Pete, one of my favorite Actors EVER!)
(Easy Rider, The Trip, Outlaw Blues, Ulee’s Gold)
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August 30th, Valerie Harpur, 80, Actress,
(The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, Valerie.)
September 3rd, Carol Lynley 77, Actress, (Under the Yum Yum Tree, Return to Peyton Place, The Poseidon Adventure)
September 8th, John Wesley, 72, Actor,
(Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Hang Em’ High)
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September 13th, Eddie Money, 70, Singer, Composer
(Take Me Home Tonight, Baby Hold On, I Think I’m in Love)
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September 15th, Ric Ocasek, 75, Lead Singer of The Cars
(Just What I Needed, Good Times Roll, Let’s Go)
https://resizing.flixster.com/bel7_v3EHdvXNu-_06ajSO5Gp4U=/504x640/v1.bjs3ODE5NTA7ajsxODMyNDsxMjAwOzUwNDs2NDA
September 15th, Phyllis Newman, 85, Stage and Screen Actress , (Subways are for Sleeping, Picnic)
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September 16th, Paul Ingrassia, 69, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist, Managing Editor of Reuters
September 16th, Sander Vanocer, 91, Veteran Journalist
and Reporter for NBC News
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September 17th, Cokie Roberts, 75, Legendary News Journalist, Author, and Political Commentator for NPR and ABC.
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September 17th, Suzanne Whang, 56, Host of Househunters on HGTV
September 20th, Jan Merlin, 94, Actor.
(Cadet Roger Manning of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet)
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September 21th, Carl Ruiz, 44 Food Network Celebrity Chef. Owner Marie’s Italian Specialties.
September 27th, Robert Garrison, 59, Actor,
(The Karate Kid, Cobra Kai)
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September 28th, Linda Porter, 86, Actress
(Twin Peaks, Superstore).
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October 3rd, Lewis Dauber, 70 Actor. (Days of Our Lives, Jingle All the Way)
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October 4th, Diahann Carroll, 84. Pioneering Actress, Singer. (Paris Blues, Carmen Jones, Julia, Dynasty)
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October 6th, Ginger Baker, 80,
Legendary drummer for Cream
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October 11th Robert Forster, 85, Actor
(Reflections in a Golden Eye, Jackie Brown, El Camino
)
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October 13th, Scotty Bowers, 96, Hollywood “Male Madam” who wrote controversial biography of classic celebrity love lives.
October 16th, Karen Pendleton, 73, Original Mouseketeer, (The Mickey Mouse Club)
John Clarke in the early 1970s
October 16th, John Clarke, 88, Actor (Days of Our Lives).
October 17th, Baltimore Representative and Congressman, Elijah Cummings, 68, Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Civil Rights Leader.


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October 21st, Jerry Fogel Actor,83,
(The Mothers in Law)
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October 21st, Josip Elic, Character Actor 98, (Santa Claus Conquers the Martians,
The Twilight Zone, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).
October 24th, Kaoru Yachigusa, 88, Japanese Actress, (Musashi Miyamoto, With Beauty and Sorrow, Duel at Ganryi Island)
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October 29th, John Witherspoon, 77, Actor
(The Wayans Brothers, The Boondocks, Boomerang)
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November 2nd, Brian Tarantina, 60, Actor
(The Gilmore Girls, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
November 4th, Virginia Leath, 94, Actress,
(A Kiss Before Dying, The Brain that Wouldn’t Die)
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November 5th, Laurel Griggs, 13, Broadway Actress, (Caused by massive asthma attack) Once, Bubble Guppies, Cafe Society)
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November 7th, Robert Freeman, 82, Legendary Photographer who created the famous With The Beatles LP cover among so many others.
November 13th, Niall Tobin, 89, Actor,
(Brideshead Revisited, Ballykissangel, The Irish P.M.)
November 13th, Jane Galloway Heitz, 78, Actress,
(Glee, The Big Bang Theory)
November 16th,Terry O’Neil, 81, Fashion and Style Photographer of Music and Movie Pop Icons; The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and so many more.
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December 12, Danny Aiello, 86, Actor,
(Moonstruck, The Godfather Pt. II, Radio Days, Do the Right Thing)
December 26th, Sue Lyon, 73, Actress
(Lolita, Night of the Iguana, Tony Rome)

Star Trek Passings of 2019

The last 12 months have been a bit hard on Trek fans, as we have lost several notable friends from the Star Trek Universe who have slipped the bonds of earth and entered the greater galaxy. This post is dedicated to these wonderful actors, actresses, and writers and artists who brought Star Trek to life for so many of us.

Although we know many of them through Star Trek in its many variations, I highly recommend that you look up all the other works they have done in their creative careers. Lives well lived, if some too awfully short. May they rest in eternal peace and love. I thank them for all their gifts. (And Thank You Todd Walkenhurst for helping me compile all the names).  I will soon be posting a full obituary page for all the wonderful personalities we lost this past year, but for now, we remember these beloved members of the Star Trek Family. May you All Rest in Peace, and Bless you on your Final Frontiers. ❤

Goodnight Dearest Yeoman – Remembering Celeste Yarnall 1944-2018

It is with a very heavy heart that I report today that our friend Celeste Yarnall has passed away. Surrounded by her loving family, she will never be forgotten.   She is forever remembered to us Trek fans as Yeoman Martha Landon in The Apple, but she was so much more.

Celeste and her beloved Nazim in 2013. Soulmates so happy together.

Celeste passed on Sunday night after a hellish battle with cancer which began as ovarian four years ago and evolved into lung cancer recently.  I can only imagine how awful it was when it was reported recently that she had non-stop coughing, pain, and mucus from the lung invasion.  When I read that she was in hospice, I suspected that she was soon to be on her final celestial journey.  I send my deepest condolences and comfort to her husband Nazim, daughter Cami, and granddaughter Gaby.  You were her rock and her heart.

I first became friends with Celeste through Facebook.  It was there I had learned of her cancer and I was determined to help her raise money through her cancer fund to help her with medical payments. I had sent her my interpretation of her Star Trek episode, The Apple, as a movie poster: 

She liked it so much, she printed it up big and displayed it frequently at her autograph signings!  I was so honored.  

 

Inspired, I created numerous Star Trek ‘funnies‘ depicting her in her role as Yeoman Martha Landon in The Apple with Trek characters encouraging donations, like this one:                                                                                                       I also like making artistic portraits of her as Martha the occasional collages for her business ventures like Bemer and Hemp Oil. She really enjoyed these, and was so gracious and thankful when she posted them on her blogs.   I hope they helped.

One of the first things I did after making Celeste’s acquaintance was making her a pretty peach floral pillowcase.  We often conversed through Facebook and I had the joyous fortune of several phone conversations with her, and we would talk health, family, and occasionally Elvis and Star Trek.   She was so funny and dear, and very passionate about letting people know about wellness and the promise of Immunotherapy, which helped her battle the ovarian cancer. She was comforting to me when I was going through my time with minor breast cancer,(Stage 0 – now free) which was nothing compared to hers.  But she understood my fears, and gave me comfort, which helped me through it. Forever grateful.

My only regret is that I never got to meet her personally.  I couldn’t really afford a trip to Las Vegas to see her in one of her annual appearances there.  If I had known this year’s would be her last, I’d have happily gone into credit debt to see her.  But that is life, and I am so blessed that I got to know her in these past few years.

When I heard of her hospice care, I immediately started making a photo book for her through a photo site.  It was a collection of all the funnies and posters I made for her. Sadly, although it is on its way as I write this, she’ll never see it.  But I truly hope that Nazim and Cami will take comfort in it as a memorial.   They have worked so hard for her, and I pray they know that all their efforts were not in vain.

Celeste’s last artistic request to me was for a poster that read “Keep Calm and Beam Me Up” I made the one below, and she was very pleased.  Yet I can’t help but think that she knew the end was coming, and this was her subtle way of saying goodbye. And now that she has beamed up to the celestial heavens,  I know she will be welcomed there with all the love and more that she had on Earth.  Goodnight  Dearest, Sweet Yeoman, my friend.   You are forever in my heart. ❤

 

 

 

 

Too Many Said Goodbye: Farewells of 2017

As the new year dawns, I take one last look back at the many talented personalities that left us this past year. Many were legendary and definitely iconic in the pop culture world. We lost real astronauts as well as fictional ones, and a few ‘red shirts’ too. Sadly, you’ll see a few familiar faces from TOS.  But there were also Remarkable comedians and soaring musicians. Childhood heroes and movie legends. Some passing’s were harder to take (Tom Petty, Mary Tyler Moore) but all left a lasting and often loving impression on the world. Many of them were blessed with long, and very productive lives. (Aren’t we lucky!) Of course I can’t mention every noted soul that passed, but here I’m remembering the ones who made the happiest impacts on my own life. May they all live on in our memories and rest in peace. ❤

Dick Gautier

Dick Gautier, 85, Actor and Comedian, best known as Hymie the Robot on ‘Get Smart’ January 13th.

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Gene Cernan, 82, Astronaut. The last man to walk on the moon.     January 16th

Miguel Ferrer. 61, Actor and Son of actor Mel Ferrer. Seen here in Star Trek III.          January 19th.

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore. 80. Beloved Actress, Dancer, and Entertainer. Known for The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She “turned the world on with her smile.” January 26th.

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Mike Connors, 91. Rugged star of detective series ‘Mannix’ January 26th.

Barbara Hale

Barbara Hale, 94, Best known as Della Street on Perry Mason, and the movie “The Boy with the Green Hair.”            January 26th.

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John Hurt, 77, Fine British Actor, A Man for all Seasons, The Elephant Man, Dr. Who. January 25th.

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Richard Hatch, 71, actor best known as Captain Apollo in Battlestar Galactica.   February 7th.

Al-Jarreau

Al Jarreau. 76, Wonderful jazz and pop Singer and Entertainer (Mornin’).   February 12th

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Bill Paxton, 61, Flexible Character Actor (Weird Science, Titanic, Big Love).   February 25th.

Osborne

Robert Osborne. Actor, Writer, and Beloved Host of Turner Classic Movies, 84, and a walking encyclopedia of all things cinema. We shall never see his likes again.  March 6th.

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Lawrence Montaigne, Actor and Star Trek favorite, 86, (Decius in Balance of Terror, Stonn from Amok Time) March 17th.

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Chuck Berry. 90, The Legendary father of Rock n’ Roll (Johnny B. Good, Maybelline) March 18th.

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Chuck Barris, 87 Game show producer, writer and host. (The Gong Show) (and possibly spy for the CIA?) March 21st.

Don RicklesNovember 1968© 1978 Ed Thrasher

Don Rickles Brilliant sarcastic comedian and actor. 90. (I Dream of Jeannie, Casino).           April 6th.

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John Geils. 71, Musician and creator of the J. Geils Band (‘Freeze-frame’) April 10th.

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Erin Moran, bubbly actress (played Joanie on Happy Days) April 22nd.

Jerry Catron

Jerry Catron, 85, Actor and stuntman. Security Guard in The Doomsday Machine. May 16th.

Chris

Chris Cornell, 52, Musician and leader of Soundgarden. “Black Hole Sun”. We lost him way too soon. May 18th.

Dina

Dina Merril, 93, Lovely heiress who rebelled to become a beloved actress. Known for ‘Desk Set’ ‘Operation Petticoat’, and Butterfield 8′ On Batman, she played Calamity Jane and in real life was also a great supporter of the arts.     May 22nd.

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Roger Moore. Gorgeous, Wonderful actor and philanthropist. The original Simon Templar of The Saint and a beloved James Bond (Live and Let Die, The Spy Who Loved Me, more) May 23rd.

Gregg

Gregg Allman, 69, Musician and  Founder of The Allman Brothers Band (Whipping Post, Midnight Rider) Cher’s second husband.  May 27th.

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Vince Dedrick Sr. 84. Stuntman and actor. “Matthews” in What Little Girls Are Made Of?   May 27th.

Peter and Wallace

Peter Sallis, 96. Beloved British comic and the voice of Wallace. (of Wallace and Gromit) June 2nd.

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Glenne Headly, Actress 62, best known as Tess Trueheart in Dick Tracy, also in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Lonesome Dove.  June 8th.

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Adam West, 88, Actor, legendary as 1960s Batman June 9

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Stephen Furst, Actor 63. Beloved as Flounder in Animal House and Vir on Babylon 5. June 17th.

Skip as Severin

Skip Homier, 86. Trekkies remember him as Dr. Severin and as Deputy Fuhrer Melekon. But did you know that he started out as a child actor? June 25th.

Martin

Martin Landau, 89, Oscar winning actor and pal to Leonard Nimoy. Best known as Rollin Hand on Mission: Impossible, Space 1999, and Ed Wood. July 5th.

June and her characters

June Foray, 99, Voice Actress for iconic characters Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Natasha Fatale, Witch Hazel, Granny, and Cindy Lou Who. July 26th.

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Sam Shepard. 73, Brilliant Writer and Actor (The Right Stuff, Steel Magnolias, The Notebook, and      Black Hawk Down.  July 27th.

Jeanne Moreau

Jeanne Moreau, 89  Beautiful and Acclaimed French New Wave film actress. (The Trial, Viva Maria) July 31st.

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Robert Hardy, 91, Actor beloved as Siegfried in All Creatures Great and Small, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. August 3rd.

Glen

The great Glen Campbell. 81, Iconic musician and actor (Witchita Lineman, Rhinestone Cowboy,  True Grit)          August 8th

Joe bologna

Joseph Bologna, 82, Actor best known as King Kaiser in My Favorite Year. August 13th.

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Dick Gregory, 84, Political Comedian and Activist (August 19)

Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis, 91 – Actor, Comedian and crusader for Muscular Dystrophy (Cinderfella, The Disorderly Orderly) August 20

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Richard Anderson, 91, Actor known for Forbidden Planet and as Oscar Goldman on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. August 31st.

Stewart-Moss

Stewart Moss, 79,  Star Trek favorite remembered as the tormented Joe Tormolen in ‘The Naked Time’. (Also Hanar in ‘By Any Other Name’ September 13th.

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Monty Hall, 96, Game Show host of Let’s Make a Deal.  September 30th.

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Beloved Tom Petty, Musician. 66.  Formed Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, (Don’t Come Around Here No More, I Won’t Back Down, Runnin’ Down a Dream). October 2nd. Gone way too soon.

Dotrice

Roy Dotrice, 84, Actor known as Commissioner Simmonds on Space 1999, Mozart’s father in Amadeus, and as Hallyne on Game of Thrones. October 16th.

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Robert Guillaume, Actor, 89.  Beloved as Benson, and in The Lion King.    November 30th.

fats

Fats Domino, 89 Legendary Rock n’ Roll  pioneer.  (Blueberry Hill, Ain’t that a Shame)  October 24th.

Della

Della Reese, 86, Marvelous Gospel Singer and Actress (Touched by an Angel).  November 19th

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David Cassidy/ 67.  Beloved Teen Idol, actor and Musician (The Partridge Family) November 21st.

Jim

Jim Nabors, 87, Actor and wonderful Baritone singer ( The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle) November 30th

Heather

Heather Menzies, 68,  Actress best known as Louisa in The Sound of Music, also played Jessica in TV version of Logan’s Run.   December 24th.

Rose-Marie-

Rose Marie, 94 – Child performer whose career lasted nearly 90 years, Best known as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show. December 28th.

Sue Grafton, writer, 77. The great mystery novelist who began her series of Alphabet murders with “A is for Alibi”. Sadly, the series will have to end with “Y is for Yesterday” December 28th.

So Long Old Chum: Adam West 1928 -2017

I realize it’s been a little while now, but I had to do a little tribute to  actor Adam West, who as you know passed away on June 9th.  Adam’s Batman was to all his fans what Spock was to Trekkers; a beloved character, an inspiration, and an overall a hero.  I loved Adam West’s voice, and how he made Batman a lovable hero, (if a bit goofy).   Of course the 1966 TV show was pure parody, but  it was a tonic the country needed from seeing the horror of Vietnam on the nightly news.

As Batman  came out the same year as Star Trek, my initial memories of it as a 5-year old were a bit sketchy. I recall watching it with my family at the “Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!” every week.  In fact, Batman was so popular, it aired twice a week at one point!  I remember I loved the animated opening, because any  child could not resist a cartoon!  I recall having a crush on Burt Ward (a.k.a. Robin) because he was the cool teenager, and being a bit creeped out by The Joker.   It was funny when the dynamic duo would climb up the buildings, and we all wondered why The Joker had a mustache under his makeup! (Cesar Romero refused to shave his trademark lip fuzz).  We all thought it was pretty silly and never took it as seriously as Trek but it sure was fun escapism.

As I grew older and saw it in reruns, I remember finding it a bit embarrassing to watch (Bat-Tusi anyone?) but I did begin to appreciate the tongue-in-cheek atmosphere of the whole thing, and West really knew how to play it up!  I only wish Batman could have married Catwoman!  It appears that West agreed with me, when asked what Batman story he’d write:

“My Bruce Wayne would have been romancing Catwoman with a brandy snifter full of milk. Then he would have said something silly, like “Man cannot live on milk alone.”

After Batman, West had trouble getting roles because of the typecasting Batman gave him, but he remained optimistic:

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am to those fans. They are not stupid. I think they appreciate my sincerity and my work. Actors want to be loved. Batman (1966) has done that for me. I have an audience out there which is always waiting to see whatever I do. And new generations are constantly discovering me in reruns. So, as long as I stay sharp, good things can still happen for me. Meanwhile, I keep hoping that a wonderful opportunity will come along. Believe me, my life ain’t so bad, after all.”

And eventually, he found many a role after Batman, and had rarely been out of work right up to his passing last month.  He also remained remarkably young-looking, even as he struggled with leukemia at the end.

Before Batman, West even had a Star Trek connection!  He and Bill Shatner appeared in the short-lived series-turned TV Movie Alexander the Great with Shatner in the lead and West as Cleander. Here’s the whole movie!

On June  16th the city of Los Angeles beamed the Bat Signal onto city hall.  I can’t imagine a better tribute to this beloved actor. ❤ Rest in Peace.

 

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That’s the Batman I grew up with! Adam in his iconic role.

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Striking photo of Bruce Wayne (Adam) shedding his cowl. (*Sigh!*) So Handsome!

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Personally I always wanted Batman to run off with Catwoman! (with Julie Newmar)

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Classic, Campy 1966 LIFE Magazine cover

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So Batman, Batgirl, and Mr. Spock walk into a bar…Adam, Yvonne Craig, and Leonard Nimoy at a Hollywood Event. Missed but never forgotten

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Bat-Bang and Spock-Rock! Adam and Leonard beat the drum-skins at the same party from above. Oh to be a fly on the wall there!

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Fueling those rumors… Not sure if this is Photoshopped or not- Funny pic of Adam as Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson.

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Handsome Adam Post-Batman. He lived out the Batman typecasting to his advantage and became an icon to millions.

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Parodying himself as “Catman” on The Fairly Odd Parents.

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As himself on The Fairly Odd Parents

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As himself again on The Simpsons

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The Bat Signal Tribute in Los Angeles on June 16th

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Adam had many roles though his 50 years plus acting career. He even voiced Mayor Adam West on ‘Family Guy’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leonard’s Little Dog is with him now.

Sad to report that Max, Mr. Nimoy’s beloved dog has passed, nearly two years to the day that his master passed. Max was 14 years old, and a joy to all who loved him.   Here’s to rejoicing their reunion in eternity ❤b7mpqlbceaebewtleonard_nimoy_dog3

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So Shines a Good Man in a Weary World — Gene Wilder-1933-2016

169139004Another sad page added  to the list of farewells  to pieces of my youth that gave me joy.

I loved this guy.  The most wondrous, funny, brilliant Gene Wilder has passed away.   It was a even sadder and shocking to see that his passing was from Alzheimer’s disease.  But when I read the statement from Wilder’s nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman  in regards to why Gene kept his diagnosis a secret, it  made perfect sense. The statement read:

“We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones — this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality. The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him “there’s Willy Wonka,” would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.”

How beautiful is that? Gene’s heart was bigger than Alzheimer’s.  It didn’t deprave him of his family recognition, and he wouldn’t let deprive his admirers of their joy.

And what joy he brought! Willy Wonka, Dr. Fredrick Fronk-en-Steen, and The Waco Kid. One moment he was a screaming neurotic, the next a gentle loving soul.  Whether he was the drunken gunslinger or a magical candy man, you believed every moment, even it his character was untrustworthy.

There’s a famous scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Wonka makes his first entrance.  Gene would only do the movie if he could act this scene a certain way:  Wonka limps down to the gate with his cane, which gets stuck in the cobblestones just before the entrance.  Wonka starts to fall forward but it evolves into a perfect forward somersault, from which he springs up triumphant.   This was important for the character, for as Wilder noted “You’d never know if he’s lying or telling the truth.”

Gene understood his characters and always let their humanity shine through.  Again in Wonka, when he first has to chastise Charlie to see if Charlie will return his Everlasting Gobstopper, he is a frightening, livid firestorm. When Charlie gives back the candy, his joy cannot be contained.  Both of these traits are the real Wilder, who took his stage name from playwright Thornton Wilder (Born Jerome Silberman) but he was much more the gentle soul in real life than the volcano he’d portray.  Growing up with a mother who ailed from a heart condition, Wilder make her laugh to ease her worries.  He considered this his greatest gift, although he didn’t think of himself as funny.  “I make my wife laugh” he said,  and that was good enough.

I cannot add much to love and accolades I’ve seen everywhere, but I’m just glad we were fortunate enough to enjoy his talents in our lifetime. To paraphrase his line in Wonka:  “So shines a good Man in a weary world.”  He’ll be greatly missed and forever loved. Good Night Herr Doctor. ❤

Gene with Teri Garr and Marty Feldman in 'Young Frankenstein'

Gene with Teri Garr and Marty Feldman in ‘Young Frankenstein’

Gene with Leonard Nimoy – Nimoy directed Gene in ‘Funny About Love’. They were good friends.

Gene with beloved  wife, comedian Gilda Radner. She passed from ovarian cancer in 1989

Happiness with wife Karen Boyer in 2007 – together 25 years until the end.

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Gene in later years.

 

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With Cleavon Little in ‘Blazing Saddles’

Gene with Peter Ostrum (Charlie) in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Anton Yelchin 1989-2016

AntonIt is with great sadness and  heartbreak that I have to report this latest passing.  Anton Yelchin, the talented young actor who played Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek movies, died as a result of a freak accident at his home on Sunday, June 19th.  He was only 27.

Mr. Yelchin was rolled over by his own car and pinned between it, a brick mailbox pillar and a security fence.  This is so tragic and must be devastating for his his parents, as he was their only child.  We were just getting to know this fine young actor who gave such bubbly energy to the Chekov character. (He was one of my favorite characters in the reboot).  I know he was just beginning his path to assured stardom in his acting career.  Gone too soon, and so terribly tragic.   My heart and prayers to out to his family, friends, fellow actors and all of his admirers.

Seeing him in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond movie will be bittersweet, but I’m thankful we had him there.  For a relatively young actor, he has a long career in movies and television and had made several other critically acclaimed movies, including Charlie Bartlett, (2008) Like Crazy (2011),  The Beaver (2011) , and Green Room (2015)

Rest in Peace dear Anton. You will be missed.

 

Doves are Crying: Prince – 1958-2016

prince-purple-rain-ws-710Sigh.   Between David Bowie and now Prince, it’s turning into a rotten year for lovers of incredible pop music. So sorry to hear of the sudden passing of pop legend Prince today.   I had heard he was sick recently and was treated and released from a hospital, so hearing that he had passed was a sad shock.

I remember being mildly intrigued by Prince when he first appeared on the scene in the 80’s.   He was a bit odd, and had a defiant but flirtatious sensuality in his music. I wasn’t much into the casual and sometimes dirty sex references in his songs, but his psychedelic/blues/rock style of playing and his metallic Beau Brummel style and James Brown moves were so alluring.  In time he drew me in more and more. And the guitar shredding!!  Jimi Hendrix was surely smiling down from heaven when Prince first tore the opening chords of When Doves Cry? And who could resist a fine young, slightly androgynous man seductively crawling out of a bathtub to invite you in?

Prince was a prolific writer; not only songs for himself, but for many others. Remember “Love, Thy Will Be Done” by Martika, or Stand Back by Stevie Nicks? Just a small sample.   A  brilliant musician, Prince could play 27 instruments,  and in his genius he knew precisely which ones to use and combine to make a perfect melody.  But in the cloud of his techno-funk, one forgets that all he needed was a guitar.  You’ll love this simple unplugged acoustic set he did for MTV; I love how he plays off the audience.

Prince was a private person, not out of arrogance or pride, but just because he felt (and rightly so) it was his music that mattered.  When  asked if it was okay for him to sing in the pouring rain at Super Bowl LXI, he  said “Can you make it rain more?”    This is an astonishing performance, and couldn’t have been better if the rain has been specially ordered.

You might have noticed there that Prince riffed some Jimi Hendrix there, for he was an apostle of all types of music; funk, r& b, soul, rock, reggae, pop, jazz, everything.  When he played, he was the instrument.  And here, he made a surprising and blistering solo for While My Guitar Gently Weeps at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame ( It starts at  3:33)  Look at Dhani grin!

He is gone way too soon.  His catalog of music is unfinished; there are purported over 100 unfinished songs).  In the next few days you’ll hear many of his songs from nearly 4 decades of musical genius.  It may make you sad now to know that there will be no more.  But there’s no better way to honor his memory than to crank up the following and dance, dance, dance!

Good Night Sweet Prince. ❤   I hope you’re jamming with Jimi.

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David Bowie -Farewell Major Tom (And So Much More)

David-BowieShocked. Another hero ascends to heaven.  David Bowie.  Major Tom has escaped the bonds of Earth.

I first became aware of David Bowie in the early 70’s when, as a young teen I was just getting acquainted with music outside the realm of The Beatles and The Monkees.  Bowie was surely an oddity, and I didn’t know what to make of him.  He was a man, but why did he wear make up? Did he want to be a woman?

When I reached high school, I began to appreciate how unique he was as a performer and artist.  When he sang, he had a quavering, aching voice that could sink to a husky bass or rise to a silky high tenor.  Those eyes. One was bright blue, one was greenish brown and permanently dilated, adding to his other-worldliness.  He was strange, but mesmerizing, massively cool and undeniably sexy.

My passing interest in him was solidified in 1977, when he appeared, on all things, a Bing Crosby Christmas Special.  He and Bing duet-ed on ‘Little Drummer Boy/ Peace On Earth.  Nice to know this hipster was appealing to old guys like Bing too.  https://youtu.be/wjNToRlUen8

Later on the show, when he performed ‘Heroes’, I was hooked.

I didn’t get to buy any of his albums until the early 80’s, and I got an 8-Track of Young Americans.  On the cover he stares out from a smoky haze, with his best Marlene Deitrich gaze, inviting you in.   It was one of the first albums I bought cold, not knowing if I’d like it, but I knew he had collaborated with John Lennon on “Fame” and he made John’s Across the Universe uniquely his own.  Well, I wore that tape out, especially listening to the funky nirvana of Fame, imagining him walking away singing “Fame…” then snapping back toward you  demanding “What’s your name, what’s your name, what’s your name?” and walking away again, as a friend told me he did in concert.  So damn cool. I loved Modern Love and China Girl.  Later I took the invitation when he sang  Let’s Dance.

But aside from his glamour and flash, you could always hear his soul.

At the 9/11 concert, he opened the show.  No glitz or glamour. Just sitting cross legged on the stage with nothing but a tiny keyboard, he began playing a carousel waltz, and sang Simon & Garfunkel’s “America” It’s a beautiful moment of raw love for the city he made his own.

And on top of commanding a concert stage, he was an actor too!  His television performance as The Elephant Man was so poignant.  Wonderful, wonderful actor, and again, his soul was laid bare.

As he identified with the alienated, the misfits of the world like me felt a kinship with him. He was known for his ever changing appearance, a true chameleon who channeled everything from Ziggy Stardust to Kabuki.  Some may have thought this was to hide who he really was, but really it just proved that he was so comfortable in his own skin, that he was willing to explore any possibility.  He was truly every-man (or woman if he preferred).  If more people explored their inner selves as Bowie did, it would probably be a happier world.

That being said, he was naturally private.  Which is why the news of his cancer and death came as such a shock.   But he never quit working, creating, and just being David Bowie, achieving his final dream of a Jazz fusion album just before he passed.  If we can all strive to complete our creative pursuits as he did, it will be a life well spent.

Enjoy the music and immense talent of Mr. Bowie. There will never be another.   Rest in Peace Major Tom.

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