Archive for the ‘Obit’ Category
Terminally Ill Fan Granted Dying Wish To See New ‘Star Trek’ Film Has Died
January 6th, 2013 at 7:27 pm | |
Jack Klugman, Best Remembered As Oscar Madison On The TV Show ‘The Odd Couple,’ Dead At 90
A terminally ill fan who was granted his dying wish to see the not-yet-released Star Trek sequel, died yesterday, according to the New York Asian Film Festival, who posted the news to their Facebook. 41-year-old Dan Craft, an avid fan of film and of Star Trek, was given an advanced screening of an unfinished version [...]
December 24th, 2012 at 10:42 pm | |
Jack Klugman, the irrepressible character actor best remembered as the craggy, charismatically unkempt, skirt-chasing and reckless sportswriter Oscar Madison in the television adaptation of the Broadway play and theatrical film The Odd Couple, has died at the age of 90, reports the Associated Press. The cause of death is yet to be determined, but his son Adam said he had died suddenly.
Klugman’s portrayal of Oscar Madison in the The Odd Couple from 1970 to 1975 on ABC television (winning two Emmy awards) in which he pretty much morphed himself into the character with such aplomb that everything he did after it and his public persona became more associated with the character of Oscar than Jack the man. Klugman has many traits ala Oscar, he loved to gamble, he was also a gregarious low rent playboy in the coolest sense of the word. It was the likeable, everyman man-about-town style he parlayed into the role that made it so memorable. Playing against the late Tony Randall’s neat freak and neurotic Felix Unger, the two men created a television program that while may not have been a success in its original run, soon found its voice and influence in the syndicated reruns market and became one of the most loved television sitcoms of all time, especially in big city markets, where sometimes the program was rerun three times a day. The two men also created a classic comedy team, ala Jackie Gleason and Art Carney, or Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis on their television appearances on The Colgate Comedy Hour in the 1950s. [...]
Ravi Shankar, Indian Music Legend, Dies At 92
December 12th, 2012 at 1:29 am | |
Larry Hagman, JR Ewing Of TV’s ‘Dallas’, Dies At 81
Ravi Shankar, who in essence almost singlehandedly brought Eastern “raga” music to the American shores and wound up influencing scores of famous musicians and bands, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles to name two, passed away in San Diego, CA, on December 11, 2012, reports The New York Times. He was 92. Shankar had suffered from heart ailments and underwent heart valve replacement surgery it was reported in a statement released by Shankar’s family.
Excelling on the sitar, an eclectic string instrument in which neighboring strings on the neck in essence resonate when a melody string is played, gave off a sound that was instantaneously connected with Shankar’s style and musical language. Shankar played like an extension of his personality, soft spoken, well mannered, respectful, yet with an attitude and a verve almost akin to a Jimi Hendrix [...]
November 24th, 2012 at 1:26 am | |
Actor Herbert Lom Of ‘The Pink Panther’ Movies and ‘The Dead Zone’ Dies At Age 95
Larry Hagman, whose portrayal of JR Ewing, the alpha male raised to the highest art, the slick, cunning, evil, and ominously intimidating oil tycoon on the TV series Dallas who enthralled millions upon millions of viewers around the world, died on Friday from complications from throat cancer, according to The Chicago Tribune. He was 81.
Hagman certainly made his mark on American television, with two successful shows which were decidedly different genres. His portrayal of Major Anthony Nelson on the long-running sitcom I Dream of Jeannie was a success and the ridiculous premise of a bachelor who discovers a genie in a bottle (played by Barbara Eden) hit paydirt during a Vietnam War-weary nation looking for escapism in the 1960s [...]
September 27th, 2012 at 2:47 pm | |
Herbert Lom, the Czech-born film and television actor best known to modern audiences for playing the long-suffering Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus in the successful Pink Panther movies for United Artists, has passed away less than three weeks after celebrating his 95th birthday.
Born Herbert Karel Angelo Kuchacevič ze Schluderpacheru on September 11, 1917 in Prague to parents of Austrian nobility, Lom started out acting in mostly supporting roles (with an occasional lead) in the Czech cinema, but was forced to flee to England in 1939 due to the country’s invasion by the Nazis. After training at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art he began appearing in British comedies and dramas throughout the following decade and made his American film debut in Jules Dassin’s 1950 film noir classic Night and the City. Five years later he first appeared alongside future on-screen adversary Peter Sellers in the great Ealing Studios comedy The Ladykillers (awkwardly remade by the Coen Brothers in 2004). After the smashing success of the first Pink Panther movie, UA gave the green-light for a sequel – a practice that was hardly as common in the film industry as it is today – and in 1964 Lom made his debut as the harried Inspector Dreyfus in the Blake Edwards-directed A Shot in the Dark. The actor’s gift for red-faced bluster made the inspector an invaluable addition to the series. He would go on to play the role in each subsequent sequel ending with 1993′s Son of the Pink Panther, which had Italian comic actor Roberto Benigni taking over the role of perennial pain in Dreyfus’ backside since Sellers had died in 1980 and which would also be Lom’s final feature film [...]
‘The Green Mile’ Star Michael Clarke Duncan Dead At 54
September 3rd, 2012 at 6:41 pm | |
Michael Clarke Duncan, the hulking actor who played notable characters in The Green Mile, Armageddon, and Daredevil, died today. He was 54.
The actor had suffered a heart attack back in July and doctors initially expected him to make a full recovery, but he remained in the hospital and had been moved to an intensive care unit in August. TMZ reports that Duncan’s passing today came suddenly. His girlfriend, former Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault, was with him at the hospital in Los Angeles today and had left his room for a short time. He was dead upon her return.
The Chicago native, who entered into the world of show biz as a bodyguard for celebrities like Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, got his big-screen break in 1998 in Michael Bay’s Armageddon, where he starred alongside Bruce Willis. It was Willis’ influence that led to Duncan landing his breakout role as John Coffey in the Frank Darabont-directed The Green Mile, based on the novel by Stephen King. It was this role of a death row inmate with extraordinaries powers which earned Duncan several award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor [...]
Astronaut Neil Armstrong, True-Life Superhero and First Man On The Moon, Dies At 82
August 25th, 2012 at 4:04 pm | |
Neil Armstrong, who will forever be etched in the world’s memory as the first person ever to set foot on the Moon, died today after complications arose from cardiovascular procedures, according to CBS News. He was 82. This is, for sure, a dark day in American history.
Armstrong represented a class of astronaut that every boy of my generation and subsequent ones aspired to be like at one point, a true hero among so many paper ones. While the comic and sci-fi/fantasy genres have their heroes and influences and outright wondrous figures by way of mythical, heroic, and positive, Neil Armstrong, in his true, reality human flesh and blood of a man, TRULY represented those aforementioned attributes. The feat he achieved by landing on the Moon with his crew of the Apollo 11 back on July 20, 1969, had stood and will stand ever more so now in his passing as one of the most breathtaking and inspiring images of all time, certainly the television footage remains arguably the greatest iconic image in the history of broadcasting. Millions upon millions of people stood frozen at television sets and large screens put up all over the world when the event happened, an all too rare time of a communion of people put together for a POSITIVE cause. Armstrong, at the helm of it all, was the perfect choice of astronaut at the time, with his rugged good looks, calm, strong demeanor, and every boy’s hero kind of swagger [...]
Jerry Nelson, Muppet Puppeteer, Dies At 78
August 24th, 2012 at 6:04 pm | |
‘Top Gun’ Director Tony Scott Jumps To His Death From Bridge [Updated]
Jerry Nelson, famed puppeteer who delighted generations of tykes and young people for decades, and was best known for his work with Jim Henson’s Muppets, died yesterday from complications of various types of cancers he had been stricken with. He was 78.
Nelson may well be best remembered by the children of the baby boomers for his portrayal of the memorable Muppet characters on Sesame Street. A short list of some of them include the sleuth Sherlock Hemlock, the alchemic magical Amazing Mumford, the gentle giant Herry Monster, and above all, one of the A-list Muppets on the show, the numerologistic Count Von Count, who in essence, helped teach scores of children how to count from one to ten during his tenure on the program. That character had debuted 40 years ago on the show and quickly became a fan favorite [...]
August 20th, 2012 at 12:37 am | |
Ron Palillo, Welcome Back Kotter’s Arnold Horshack, Dead At 63
Tony Scott, director of such features as Top Gun, True Romance, and Days of Thunder, jumped to his death off of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, Los Angeles, CA, according to The Wrap. He was 68.
A suicide note was found in Scott’s car, which was parked on one of the eastbound lanes of the bridge. Reports state that Scott climbed a fence on the south side of the bridge’s apex and leapt off around 12:30pm. The director jumped “without hesitation,” according to The Breeze [...]
August 14th, 2012 at 6:08 pm | |
Comics Legend Joe Kubert Dead At 85
Ron Palillo, best remembered for his role as the geeky and gawky, yet loveable Arnold Horshack who made up part of the quartet of Sweathogs on the ABC sitcom Welcome Back Kotter, died of a heart attack today at his home in West Palm Beach Florida. He was 63.
Palillo’s death marks the second death of an actor who portrayed a Sweathog on Welcome Back Kotter. Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein, died in late January of this year. The surviving members of those fun-loving high school juvenile delinquents who helped make the show such a success during its original run from 1975-1979 are Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (who played Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington) and of course, John Travolta, who played Vinnie Barbarino [...]
August 12th, 2012 at 6:40 pm | |
Comics legend Joe Kubert, who was one of the most important artists and writers in comics history, helping to create Sgt. Rock for DC comics, as well as working for long periods on Hawkman, Tarzan, and many other books, has passed away today at the age of 85.
Later in his career, Kubert worked on a number of non-fiction works, such as Fax from Sarajevo, Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965, and more personal works such as Jew Gangster and Yossel. Kubert still remained active in the comics field, providing inks for his sons Adam and Andy’s comics work.
Kubert was born September 18, 1926 in southeast Poland. His family emigrated to Brooklyn, New York, when he was two months old. Kubert began working in comics at a very early age, and went on to attend Manhattan’s High School of Music and Art. From there, he began work at many different companies during the early days of the industry, before reaching DC where he had his greatest success in the 50’s and 60’s [...]
Remembering The Late Godfather Actor John Cazale On His Birthday
August 12th, 2012 at 11:01 am | |
Today marks the birthday of one of cinema’s most influential actors, the late John Cazale, who, although he passed away almost 35 years ago, is still fondly remembered by his peers and moviegoers alike for having the distinction of appearing in some of the best remembered and well known movies of the 1970s, including The Godfather.
Cazale’s resume, although short, spanning only five films, still remains one of the most well rounded pedigrees of any actor before or since. Each of the films he appeared in either won or was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award: The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter. Cazale played the slow, strangely confident, yet ultimately tragic “runt of the litter” Corleone brother Fredo in the first two Godfather films (also appearing posthumously in more ways than one in the third Godfather installment); he played Gene Hackman’s assistant who helped with the paranoid, sly surveillance company that Hackman ran by the seat of his pants in The Conversation (all three aforementioned films were written or co-written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola); he was the dim-witted yet ruthless bank cohort to Al Pacino’s main protagonist/antagonist in Dog Day Afternoon (directed by Sidney Lumet), and finally, was the third wheel to the group of tight friends in the intense and memorable Vietnam production The Deer Hunter (directed by Michael Cimino). In The Deer Hunter, released shortly after his death from bone cancer in 1978 at the young age of 42, Cazale clearly looks rather emaciated, but still gives the type of performance and characterization he was best remembered for in his brief career [...]
Special Effects Master Carlo Rambaldi, Creator Of E.T., Dead At 86
August 10th, 2012 at 3:42 pm | |
Carlo Rambaldi, the three-time Academy Award-winning Italian-born visual effects artist responsible for creating the alien E.T. in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, died today in Lamezia Terme, Italy after a long illness, according to the Washington Post. He was 86 years old.
Born on September 15, 1925 in Vigarano Mainarda, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Rambaldi got his start in the Italian film industry providing visual effects for films such as Bloody Pit of Horror and Mario Bava’s highly influential sci-fi chiller Planet of the Vampires. He would later reunite with Bava to execute the gory murder sequences for one of the acclaimed filmmaker’s finest films, Twitch of the Death Nerve (a.k.a. A Bay of Blood). In 1971, Rambaldi’s mutilated dog effects for Lucio Fulci’s psychedelic giallo Lizard in a Woman’s Skin were deemed so realistic that the director was prosecuted in Italian court on charges of animal cruelty. Only after Rambaldi presented the fake dog effects in court was Fulci exonerated [...]
Writer Gore Vidal Dead At 86
August 1st, 2012 at 1:35 am | |
Gore Vidal, the seminal wordsmith, jack of all things witty, provocative, and erudite in the many writings he authored, who always seemed to have his finger firmly entrenched on the pulse of the national culture politically and socially throughout much of the mid-20th century, died of complications from pneumonia on July 31, 2012, in Hollywood at his home, reports The New York Times. The news was confirmed by his nephew, the filmmaker Burr Steers, who said his uncle had been sick for some time. Vidal was 86 years old.
He spread himself eclectically in the arts, mainly in the literary circuits and was responsible for penning over 20 books in his lifetime. One of them, his third, entitled The City and the Pillar, published in 1948, was one of the first major tomes to explore themes of homosexuality (Vidal himself was bisexual), something that was all but taboo during that post-World War II, post-President Roosevelt America. Vidal’s penchant for syntax and printed word ran at fever pitch; he penned essays on sundry hotbed topics as sexuality, religion, politics, and literature, the results of which equally divided the followers and haters of his works and eventually earned him National Book Award honors in the early 1990s for a voluminous anthology of those essays, which spanned 40 years in the book, and was entitled United States Essays, 1952-1992. Vidal is also well known for his historical assessments on the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Aaron Burr, as well as the satiric novel Myra Beckinridge, which was adapted into a cult campy arguably awful film in 1970 starring Raquel Welch as a transsexual and also starring the inimitable Mae West [...]
‘The Jeffersons’ Actor Sherman Hemsley Dead At 74
July 24th, 2012 at 5:08 pm | |
Sherman Hemsley, best remembered for his dimunitive in size but gargantuan in moxie TV character George Jefferson on The Jeffersons, died today in El Paso, Texas. It is unclear at this moment the cause of death, though initial reports are citing natural causes. Hemsley was 74 years old.
Born on February 1, 1938, in Philadelphia, Hemsley acted in local summer theater before landing the role that made him famous, successful dry cleaning tycoon George Jefferson. First appearing in 1973 on the sitcom All in the Family as the African-American neighbors of controversial character Archie Bunker, the Jefferson family eventually got their own spin-off show in 1975 called The Jeffersons, which showed how they were “movin’ on up” in life. The show went become one of TV’s all-time greatest and most successful sitcoms [...]