Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

The following industry personalities, athletes, politicians (etc.) passed away in 2022 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans.

The celebrities we have lost this year are (in alphabetical order):

Shinzo Abe (Former Japanese Prime Minister)
Neal Adams (Batman Comic Artist)
Shireen Abu Akleh (Al Jazeera Journalist)
Madeleine Albright (First Female Secretary of State)
Ian Alexander Jr. (Musician, DJ and son of Actress and Director Regina King) [He was only 26]
Marie Alice (Actress, A Different World and Spakle)
Kirstie Alley (Actress, Cheers, Veronica’s Closet and Look Who’s Talking)
Louie Anderson (Comedian; Emmy Winning Actor, Baskets and Family Feud Host)
John Aniston (Veteran Actor, Days of Our Lives and Jennifer Aniston’s Father)
David A. Arnold (Standup Comedian and Showrunner)
Nicki Aycox (Actress, Supernatural) [She was 47]

Angelo Badalamenti (Composer, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive)
Rebecca Balding (Actress, Soap and the original Charmed)
Jim Balfe (father of actress Caitriona Balfe from Outlander)
Darius Barnes (Broadway dancer and choreographer)
Jules Bass (Producer and Director, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman)
Luke Bell (Country Artist, Cowboy and Troubadour) [He was only 32]
Jana Bennett (Former President and General Manager of the History Channel and Former Director at the BBC)
Marilyn Bergman (Oscar-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning songwriter, “The Way We Were”)
David Birney (Actor, St. Elsewhere and Bridget Loves Bernie)
Stephanie Bissonnette (Broadway Star, Mean Girls) [She was only 32]
June Blair (Actress, Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet) [She was 90]
Peter Bogdanovich (Iconic Director, The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon)
Stephan Bonnar (Legendary Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Bellator fighter) [He was only 45]
Lee Bontecou (Legendary Artist) [She was 91]
Stephen “tWitch” Boss (Dancer, DJ and Co-Executive Producer, So You Think You Can Dance and The Ellen DeGeneres Show) [He was 40]
Traci Braxton (Singer and Star of Braxton Family Values alongside her sisters Toni and Tamar) [She was only 50]
David Brenner (Film Editor, Justice League and Independence Day)
Raymond Briggs (Creator of “The Snowman’ picture book) [He was 88]
Todd Brodginski (Veteran Music Publicist and Art Garfunkel’s Manger)
Peter Brook (Tony-Winning British Theater Director) [He was 97]
Johnny Brown (Veteran Actor, Good Times)
June Brown (Veteran British Actress, EastEnders) [She was 95]

James Caan (Actor, The Godfather and Las Vegas)
Patrick Carlin (Author, Comedy Writer and Older Brother of Comedian George Carlin) [He was 90]
Irene Cara (Iconic 1980’s Singer-Actress, Fame and Flashdance)
Pat Carroll (Emmy Winner and voice of Disney’s Ursula)
Dick Carson (Director, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and younger brother to Johnny Carson) [He was 92]
Jeff Carson (Award-Winning Country Artist and Songwriter ) [He was 58]
Aaron Carter (Pop Singer and Younger Brother of Nick Carter from Backstreet Boys) [He was only 34]
Robbie Coltrane (Actor, Hagrid in the Harry Potter franchise)
Coolio (Rapper, Best Known for “Gangster’s Paradise”)
Kevin Conroy (Iconic Voice of Animated Batman)
Tim Considine (Disney Legend and Actor, My Three Sons and original The Mickey Mouse Club)
Ann Turner Cook (Face of Gerber’s Baby Food) [She was 95]
Zuri Craig (America’s Got Talent Finalist and Collaborator of Tyler Perry)
Bernard Cribbins (British Actor, Grandfather to Donna Tate on Doctor Who) [He was 93]
Carl Croneberg (Deaf Swedish Immigrant, Helped write first comprehensive ASL dictionary) [He was 92]
Julee Cruise (Icon Singer, Twin Peaks theme song)

David Davis (Comedy Writer, Bob Newhart Show and Taxi)
Charlbi Dean (Actress, Black Lightning) [She was only 32]
Emilio Delgado (Actor, Sesame Street)
Robert Breck Denny, Jr. (Writer and Actor, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Member of The Groundlings) [He was only 34]
Jan DeWitt (50-Year Veteran Producer, Bones and Judging Amy)
Tony Dow (Actor, Leave It To Beaver)
Denise Dowse (Actress, Insecure and Beverly Hills 90210)
Lamont Dozier (Motown Legend, Singer-Songwriter-Producer, Mastermind behind songs like “Baby Love” and “Two Hearts”)
Shonka Dukureh (Actress-Singer, Played Big Mama Thornton in 2022 Elvis) [She was only 44]

Sonya Eddy (Actress and Beloved General Hospital Star) [She was 55]
James Edwards (Major Figure in British Music Industry) [He was only 31]
Ned Eisenberg (Actor, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Mare of Easttown)
Ralph Emery (Country Music DJ and TV Host)
Charles Entenmann (Builder of the Baked Goods Empire) [He was 92]
Zack Estrin (Writer-Producer, Prison Break and Lost in Space) [He was 51]
Nicholas Evans (Author, The Horse Whisperer)

Ben Feigin (Executive Producer, Schitt’s Creek)
Ryan Fellows (Cast Member on Discovery series Street Outlaws) [Died in Car Crash; He was only 41]
Bobbie Faye Ferguson (Actress, Designing Women, Dallas and Dukes of Hazzard)
Steve Fickinger (Tony-Winning Producer, “Dear Evan Hansen”)
Bert Fields (Consummate Hollywood/Entertainment Lawyer) [He was 93]
Nikki Finke (Founder of Deadline and Iconoclastic Journalist)
Andy Fletcher (Founding Member of Depeche Mode)
Louise Fletcher (Oscar Winning Actress, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)
Farrah Forke (Actress, Wings and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) [She was 54]
Jason David Frank (Actor, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) [He was 49]
Dallas Frazier (Songwriter, “Elvira,” “Alley Oop” and “Beneath Still Waters”)
Budd Friedman (Founder of The Improv Comedy Club) [He was 90]

Gallagher (Well-Known Comedian)
Mickey Gilley (Country Music Icon)
Clarence Gilyard, Jr. (Actor, Die Hard and Walker, Texas Ranger)
Jean-Luc Godard (King of France’s New Wave Cinema) [He was 91]
Mikhail Gorbachev (Last Soviet leader who ended the Cold War) [He was 91]
Gilbert Gottfried (Comedian)
Heather Gray (Executive Producer of “The Talk”) [She was only 50]
Jeremiah Green (Co-founder and Drummer, Rock Band Modest Mouse) [He was 45]
Stephen Greif (Actor, The Crown and Blake’s 7)
Robyn Griggs (Soap Opera Actress, One Life to Live and Another World) [She was only 49]
Clu Gulager (Veteran Actor, The Virginian and Return of the Living Dead) [He was 93]

Mike Hagerty (Actor, Friends and Somebody, Somewhere)
Patrick Haggerty (Trailblazing Gay Country Star)
Philip Baker Hall (Veteran Actor, The Loop, Falcon Crest and Seinfeld) [He was 90]
Scott Hall (WWE Hall of Famer)
Thich Nhat Hanh (Zen Master and Buddhist Monk) [He was 95]
Estelle Harris (Veteran Actress, Seinfeld) [She was 93]
Franco Harris (Legendary Football Player, Pittsburgh Steelers)
William “Poogie” Hart (Lead Singer of Soul Group Delfonics)
John Hartman (Founding Drummer of The Doobie Brothers)
Dwayne Haskins (Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback) [He was only 24]
Shelley Haus (Chief Marketing Officer of Ulta Beauty) [She was only 49]
Ronnie “Hawk” Hawkins (Rocabilly Singer, Mentor to The Band)
Rosa Lee Hawkins (Singer from The Dixie Cups, “Chapel of Love”)
Taylor Hawkins (Drummer, Foo Fighters) [He was only 50]
Anne Heche (Actress, Men In Trees)
Brad William Henke (Former NFL Player and Actor, Orange Is the New Black)
Howard Hesseman (Actor, Head of the Class and WKRP in Cincinnati)
Dwayne Hickman (Actor, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis)
Mike Hodges (British Director, Get Carter and Croupier) [He was 90]
Nick Holly (Manager, Writer, Producer and Co-Creator of ABC comedy Sons & Daughters) [He was 51]
Georgia Holt (Singer, Actress and Mother of Cher) [She was 96]
Bo Hopkins (Actor, American Graffiti and The Wild Bunch)
Joan Hotchkis (Veteran Stage and Screen Actress, The Odd Couple and Legacy) [She was 95]
Marsha Hunt (Blacklisted Actress and Activist) [She was 104]
William Hurt (Oscar-Winning Actor)

Gregory Itzin (Actor, 24)

Michael Robin Jackson (LA Talk Radio Personality)
Conrad Janis (Veteran Actor, Mork & Mindy)
Anthony “A.J.” Johnson (Actor, House Party and Friday) [He was 55]
Brad Johnson (Actor, Always and the original Melrose Place)
L.Q. Jones (Veteran Actor, The Wild Bunch, Casino and The Legend of Zorro) [He was 94]
Leslie Jordan (Actor, Writer and Singer)
Marvin Josephson (Founder, ICM Partners) [He was 95]
Naomi Judd (Matriarch of The Judds and mother to Wynonna and Ashley)
Max Julien (Actor, 1973 Blaxploitation classic The Mack)

Robert A. Katz (Producer, Gettysburg and Selena)
Takahashi Kazuki (Creator, Yu-Gi-Oh!)
Jack Kehler (Character Actor, The Main the High Castle and The Big Lebowski)
Sally Kellerman (Actress, Original Movie MASH)
Jessica Klein (Producer and Writer, Beverly Hills 90210)
Howie Kleinberg (Top Chef Fan Fave) [He was only 46]
Jak Knight (Stand-Up Comedian) [He was only 28]
Charles Koppelman (Legendary Music Executive and Former Chairman of Martha Stewart’s Company)
Michael Kopsa (Actor, Hallmark Channel movies)
Krishna (Major Star of 1980’s Telgui Cinema and Father of Star Mahesh Babu)
Hardy Kruger (German Actor, A Bridge Too Far, Hatari! and Barry Lyndon)
Cheslie Kryst (Former Miss USA 2019 and Correspondent for Extra) [She was only 30]
Oleksandra “Sasha” Kuvshynova (Journalist) [Killed in Ukraine] (She was only 24)

Art Laboe (Legendary Radio DJ who coined “Oldies but Goodies”)
Alan Ladd Jr. (Son of legendary actor Alan Ladd, Oscar-Winning Producer and Influential Motion Picture Executive)
Guy Lafleur (Legendary Montreal Canadiens player)
Bappi Lahiri (Bollywood Composer and Singer)
Edie Landau (Producer, The David Susskind Show and Executive President of the National Telefilm Associates) [She was 95]
Angela Landsbury (Veteran Actress, Murder She Wrote)
Mark Lanegan (Singer, Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age)
Michael Lang (Co-Creator of the 1969 Woodstock Festival)
Mike Lang (Leading Jazz and Studio Pianist)
Stephen J. Lawrence (Composer, Sesame Street)
Quentin Oliver Lee (Broadway Actor and Opera Singer)
Kevin Levene (Pioneering Guitarist and Co-Found of the Clash)
Jerry Lee Lewis (Rock Pioneer and Singer)
Lil Keed (Atlanta-based Rapper) [He was only 24]
Ray Liotta (Actor, Goodfellas and Field of Dreams)
Jon Lind (A&R Executive and Songwriter “Boogie Wonderland,” “Crazy for You”)
Sacheen Littlefeather (Native Americn Activist Who Declined Marlon Brando’s Oscar)
Bob LuPone (Actor and Brother of Broadway Icon Patti LuPone)
Loretta Lynn (Country Music Legend) [She was 90]

Patricia MacLachlan (Award-Winning Author, “Sarah, Plain and Tall”)
Lata Mangeshkar (Bollywood Singer, Known as the ‘Nighingale of India’) [She was 92]
Mary Mara (Actress, Nash Bridges, Law & Order and ER)
Jane Marczewski [aka Nightbirde] (Fan Favorite Season 16 contestant on America’s Got Talent) [She was only 31]
Stuart Margolin (TV Director, Actor and two-time Emmy winner, The Rockford Files)
Ron Masak (Actor, Murder She Wrote)
Dan McCafferty (Frontman of Scottish Rock Band Nazareth)
David McCullough (Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author) [He was 89]
Bob McGrath (One of the Original Human Stars on Sesame Street) [He was 90]
Virginia McLaurin (Sharecropper Daught in Jim Crow South/Danced with Barack & Michelle Obama at the Whitte House) [She was 113 by her accounting, as she had no birth certificate]
Dale McRaven (Creator, Mork & Monday and Perfect Strangers)
Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac, Singer-Songwriter-Keyboardist)
Meat Loaf (Singer, “Bat Out of Hell”)
Marijane Meaker (Autor, 1952 novel “Spring Fire” among countless other books) [She was at 95]
Yvette Mimieux (Actress, The Time Machine, The Black Hole, Where the Boys Are and Toys in the Attic)
Nicky Moore (Lead Singer of heavy metal band Samson)
Tommy Morgan (Harmonica Soloist for Dances With Wolves and Roots) [He was 89]
Robert Morse (Veteran Actor, Mad Men) [He was 90]
Roger E. Mosley (Actor, the original Magnum P.I.)
Virginia Patton Moss (Last Surviving Adult Cast Member of It’s a Wonderful Life)
Manfred Thierry Mugler (French Fashion Designer)

Mace Neufeld (Longtime producer, Patriot Game and Beverly Hills Cop III) [He was 93]
Olivia Newton-John (Grammy-Winning Singer and Actress, Grease and Xanadu)
Nichelle Nichols (Veteran Actress, Original Star Trek) [She was 89]
Monty Norman (Composer, James Bond Theme) [He was 94]

Terrence O’Hara (TV Director, NCIS and JAG)
Mo Ostin (Top Executive at Warner Bros.-Reprise Records for more than three decades) [He was 95]

Mimi Parker (Vocalist and Drummer for the band Low)
Tom Parker (The Wanted, British-Irish Boy Band) [He was only 33]
Fred Parris (Singer from The Five Satins, “In The Still Of The Night”)
Pelé (Soccer Legend) [He was 82]
D.H. Peligro (Drummer of Legendary Punk Rock Band Dead Kennedys)
Bill Pence (Co-Founder of the Telluride Film Festival) [He was 82]
Bob Penny (Veteran Actor, Forrest Gump and Sweet Home Alabama)
George Perez (Comic Book Artist, Wonder Woman and Teen Titans)
Nehemiah Persoff (Actor, Yentl and Some Like it Hot) [He was 102]
Wolfgang Peterson (Director, Air Force One and Das Boot)
Leslie Phillips (Actor in Harry Potter franchise as the voice of The Sorting Hat) [He was 98]
Svika Pick (Israeli King of Pop and Eurovision Winner)
Anita Pointer (Member of the Pointer Sisters)
Sidney Poiteir (Revered Actor, Oscar-Winning Trailblazer and Civl Rights Activist) [He was 94]
Jesse Powell (R&B Singer and Grammy Nominee)
Julie Powell (Food Writer of Julia Child Recipe Blog – Amy Adams played her in Julia & Julie movie) [She was only 49]
Pope Benedict XVI (German Pope from 2005 to 2013) [He was 95]
Albert Pyun (Action Director, Nemesis, Cyborg and Captain America)

Queen Elizabeth (Longest-Reigning Monarch in British History) [She was 96]

Bob Rafelson (Director, Five Easy Pieces and Co-Creator of The Monkees)
Teddy Ray (Stand-Up Comedian and Actor) [He was only 32]
Julia Reichert (Oscar-Winning Documentarian)
Ivan Reitman (Legendary Director, Ghostbusters)
Brent Renaud (U.S. Documentary Filmmaker) [He was only 50] [Killed in Ukraine]
Hargus “Pig” Robbins (Country Hall of Fame Piano Player)
Peter Robbins (Voice Actor, Original Voice of Charlie Brown in Peantus cartoons)
Cormac Roth (Musician and Son of Actor Tim Roth) [He was only 25]
Art Rupe (Specialty Records Founder and Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneer) [He was 104]
Bill Russell (11-Time NBA Champion and First Black Head Coach in US Pro Sports) [He was 88]
Mitchel Ryan (Veteran Actor, Dark Shadows, Lethal Weapon and Dharma & Greg)
Bobby Rydell (1960’s Pop Idol and Star of Bye Bye Birdie)

Bob Saget (Stand-Up Comedian and Actor, Full House and Host, America’s Funniest Home Videos)
Pharoah Sanders (Boundary-Pushing Jazz Saxophonist)
Marnie Schulenburg (Actress, As the World Turns and One Life to Live) [She was only 37]
Vin Scully (Legendary Announcer for the LA Dodgers) [He was 94]
Jim Seals (Seals and Crofts 70’s soft-rock duo)
Bernard Shaw (Legendary CNN Broadcaster) [He was 82]
Liz Sheridan (Veteran Actress on Broadway and on TV in Seinfeld and ALF)
Mark Shields (Political Analyst for PBS News Hour and CNN’s Capital Gang)
Oksana Shvets (Revered Ukranian Actress) [Killed in Russian Rocket Attack]
Charles Siebert (Actor, Trapper John M.D.)
Henry Silva (Veteran Actor, Ocean’s Eleven and The Manchurian Candidate) [He was 94]
Joanna Simon (Opera Singer and Sister of Carly Simon)
Lucy Simon (Singer, Broadway Composer and Sister of Carly Simon)
Joyce Sims (R&B Singer-Songwriter)
Tony Siragus (Former NFL PLayer) [He was 55]
Tony Sirico (Actor, The Sopranos)
Paul Sorvino (Actor, Goodfellas and Law & Order)
Ronnie Spector (Lead Singer of 60’s girl group The Ronettes)
Carol Speed (Actress, Blaxploitation film The Mack and Horror classic Abby)
Willie Spense (Season 19 American Idol Runner-Up) [He was only 23]
Meghan Stabile (New Jazz Impresario) [She was only 39]
Susie Steiner (Author of Acclaimed British Crime Novels) [She was only 51]
Morgan Stevens (Actor, Fame and Melrose Place)
Austin Stoker (Veteran Actor, Assault on Precinct 13 and Sheba, Baby) [He was 92]
Larry Storch (Actor, F Troop) [He was 6 months shy of his 100th birthday]
Alec John Such (First Bassist and Founding Member, Bon Jovi)

Marva Hicks Taha (Broadway and TV Actress)
Akira Takarada (Veteran Actor, Star of Original Godzilla and Voiceover Artist) [He was 87]
Takeoff (Rapper) [He was only 28]
Andre Leon Talley (Former America’s Next Top Model Judge and Fashion Icon)
Joe E. Tata (Actor, Beverly Hills, 90210)
Dax Tejera (Executive Producer, ABC’s This Week) [He was only 37]
Judy Tenuta (Accordian-Playing ‘Love Goddess’ Comedian)
Terry Tolkin (Veteran A&R Executive for Elektra Records)
Jean-Louis Trintignant (French Actor, A Man and a Woman and Amour) [He was 91]
Trouble aka Skoob (Atlanta Rapper) [He was only 35]
Ivana Trump (Donald Trump’s former wife)
Brett Tuggle (Keyboardist for Fleetwood Mac and David Lee Roth)
Joe Turkel (Bartender in The Shining and Blade Runner) [He was 94]

Gaspard Ulliel (French Actor, Moon Knight)

Vangelis (Oscar-Winning Composer Chariots of Fire)
Ronan Vibert (Actor, Saving Mr. Banks and The Snowman) [He was 58]
Leon Vitali (Actor, Barry Lyndon and Personal Assistant to Stanley Kubrick)
Monica Vitti (Actress, Italian movies L’Avventura and La Notte)
Lenny Von Dohlen (Actor, Twin Peaks)

Grant Wahl (Soccer Journalist) [He passed away while covering the World Cup in Qatar]
Jackie Walorski (Indiana US Representative)
Barbara Walters (Legendary News Anchor, TV Interviewer and TV Host) [She was 93]
Fred Ward (Actor, The Right Stuff and Tremors)
Shane Warne (Legendary Former Australian Cricket Player and TV Commentator) [He was 52]
David Warner (British Actor, The Omen, Tron, Time Bandits)
Shirley Watts (Wife of Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts)
Kenneth Welsh (Actor, Twin Peaks and The Day After Tomorrow)
Vivienne Westwood (Legendary English fashion designer who helped to popularize punk style)
Bobbie Whiteman (Longtime Variety Editor)
Don Wilson (Co-Founder of Rock-N-Roll Group The Ventures)

Shimada Yoko (Golden Globe Winner playing Mariko in 1980s TV series Shogun)

Pierre Zakrzewski (Fox News Cameraman) [Killed in Ukraine]
Jon Zazula (Legendary Metal Label Megaforce Records)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.


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It’s the end of a year that, well, could have been better in many ways. But there were some highlights in television, movies and books that I wanted to share in case I can inspire someone for 2019.


I dug into movies as I usually do, but a few stood out by the end of the year as worthy of your time and money.

[Photo Credit: Reed Morano/Sundance Institute]

Eighth Grade

Bo Burnham did a stellar job in capturing an awkward girl in eighth grade trying to navigate her life.  Rueben’s already highlighted how Elsie Fisher is good in this role, and it’s true. The whole movie is raw and made me uncomfortable in a good way.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor

If you don’t cry at a story about Mister Rogers, I don’t know what your life was like, but it needs Mr. Rogers. Once a staple of children’s television watching, this movie gives new details on the way in which Fred Rogers was a trailblazer and reminded me of how much we all need empathy for each other.

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

This animation is amazing! The story is heartfelt and brings in so many good Spider-memes from years gone by. Miles Morales is the next Spider-Man we need on screen and this movie tells you why.


Many of my favorite shows this year are repeats of years before (The Good Place is quality always) but I do want to take note of two new series and one episode that stood out as amazing.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Netflix’s series based on the Archie comic is dark, but in the best way. As a kid I loved the version on ABC, but this keeps the world with dark magic, darker villains and less of a laugh track. Kiernan Shipka is stoic when she needs to be but also confused and expressive of Sabrina’s awkward position in life.

The Bodyguard

Brought to America via Netflix, this ITV drama is a thriller based off the complicated life of a Personal Protection Officer who gets tangled in a plot against the Home Secretary. Starting Richard Madden, the show pulls off so many twists and turns but with an end that feels right given the looming threat of terrorism in the show’s conceit.

The Good Place’s Janet(s)

D’Arcy Carden is a gift to us all! She played at least seven characters (including characters pretending to be other characters) in twenty-two minutes of jam-packed television. If she doesn’t win an Emmy in 2019, we’ve all been robbed.


Normally I’m so bad about books in the end of the year. That’s not to say I’m not reading, but I tend to read quickly and find few stick with me weeks later. I’m so glad to find that more than a few books did stay with me this year.

Ship It

Britta Lundin currently writes for The CW series Riversdale, and that affects so much of Ship It‘s story.  When a fangirl raises the question about why two male leads on a show can’t be shipped in a convention panel, the fangirl’s life changes in numerous ways. First, she’s asked to be part of the rest of the promotional tour for the show, but that means being around the cast – not all of whom get shipping. But the book is more than just a book about fan’s interacting with the creative team, as the heroine has to figure out so many other things about herself in the process.

If you’re a fan of enough TV and ship an unconventional couple, this book is for you.

The Wedding Date and The Proposal

Jasmine Guillory turned out two books this year with something I rarely see: an African-American heroine. The two books are interconnected, but reading a book with a character who looks like me is something I rarely find. For that alone, these each stuck with me. Plus, they’re each funny but relatable stories of finding love in some very awkward situations.

Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

For YA books, there’s always a hook I need to be drawn into books. This time it was historical fiction with action and adventure with some dysfunctional family dynamics mixed in. There’s not a great way to talk about each book without spoiling so much, but if you’re sold on watching teens having to use their brains to get through Europe without money, then these Mackenzi Lee books are perfect!

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The following industry personalities (listed in alphabetical order) passed away in 2017 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans:

Roger Ailes (Founder, FOX News)
Lola Albright (Singer and Actress, TV’s “Peter Gunn” and Film classic “Champion”)
Gregg Allman (Pioneer of Southern Rock Allman Brothers Band)
Richard Anderson (Actor, “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Bionic Woman”)
Gary Austin (Founder of “The Groundlings”)
John G. Avildsen (Director, “Rocky” and “Karate Kid”)

Peter Baldwin (Actor turned Prolific TV Director)
Chuck Barris (Host, “Gong Show”)
Walter Becker (Guitarist, Bassist and Co-Writer for band Steely Dan)
Buzz Belmondo (Comedian-Actor, “Out of This World” and “Baywatch”)
Chester Bennington (Lead Singer of Linkin Park)
Shelley Berman (Actor, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Stand-Up Comedian)
Chuck Berry (Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneer)
Joseph Bologna (Playwright, Director and Actor, “My Favorite Year”)
Powers Boothe (Actor, “Sin City,” “Nashville” and “Deadwood”)
Jimmy Breslin (Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Columnist)
Brad Bufanda (Actor, “Veronica Mars” – played Felix Toombs) [He was only 34]

Glen Campbell (Country Music Legend)
Bernie Casey (Actor, “Revenge of the Nerds” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka”)
David Cassidy (Singer-Actor, “The Partridge Family”)
Darlene Cates (Actress, Housebound Mom in box office film “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” film)
Alan Colmes (Fox News Commentator)
Barbara Cook (Broadway Actress, “Cabaret”)
Chris Cornell (Singer, Soundgarden and Audislave) [He was only 52]

Jonathan Demme (Director, “Silence of the Lambs”)
Fats Domino (R&B Singer and Rock Pioneer)
Roy Dotrice (Actor, “Beauty and the Beast”)
Gord Downie (Frontman of Tragically Hip, Canadian band)
John F. Dunsworth (Actor, “Haven”)

Nelsan Ellis (Actor, “True Blood”) [He was only 39]
Dick Enberg (Legendary Sportscaster)

Gloria Fallon (Mother of Comedian and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon)
Miguel Ferrer (Actor, “NCIS: Los Angeles”)
Neil Fingleton (British Actor, “Game of Thrones”) [He was only 36]
June Foray (the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale, “The Bullwinkle Show”)
Bruce Forsyth (Legendary British Entertainer and TV Personality, “The Generation Game”)
Warren Frost (Veteran Actor, “Twin Peaks” and “Seinfeld”)
Stephen Furst (Actor, “Animal House,” “Babylon 5” and “St. Elsewhere”)

Dick Gautier (Actor, Hymie the Robot on 1960’s classic “Get Smart”)
Troy Gentry (Half of the Popular Country Duo Montgomery Gentry)
Cuba Gooding, Sr. (Soul Singer and Father of Cuba Gooding, Jr.)
Robert Guillaume (Actor, “Benson”)
Sue Grafton (Best-Selling Author)
Dick Gregory (Pioneering Stand-Up Comedian and Civil Rights Activist)

Barbara Hale (Veteran Actress, “Perry Mason”)
Monty Hall (Host, “Let’s Make a Deal”)
Roy Halladay (American professional baseball player)
Ty Hardin (Actor, “Cheyenne” and “Bronco”)
Robert Hardy (British Actor, Cornelius Fudge [Minister of Magic] in “Harry Potter” franchise)
Connie Hawkins (Harlem Globetrotters Player)
Glenne Headly (Actress, “Lonesome Dove” and “Dick Tracey”)
John Heard (Actor, “Home Alone”)
Hugh Hefner (Founder, Playboy Magazine)
Blake Heron (Actor, “Tom and Huck” and “Shiloh”) [He was only 35]
Mike Hodge (Actor, “Law & Order” and SAG-AFTRA New York Local President)
John Hillerman (Actor, “Magnum, P.I.”)
Tobe Hooper (Director, “Texas Chain Saw Massacre”)
Lena Horne (Legendary Singer and Actress)
Rance Howard (Veteran Actor and Father of Actor-Director Ron Howard and Actor Clint Howard)
John Hurt (Veteran Actor, “Alien,” “The Elephant Man” and “Doctor Who”)
Earle Hyman (Veteran Actor, “The Cosby Show”)

Al Jarreau (Grammy-Winning Jazz Singer)

Jake LaMotta (Real-Life “Raging Bull” Boxer)
Mark LaMura (Actor, “All My Children”)
Martin Landau (Legendary Actor, “Mission: Impossible” and “Ed Wood”)
Chuck Law (Actor, “Goodfellas”)
Joan Lee (Wife of Legendary Comic Book Creator Stan Lee)
Jerry Lewis (Comedy Legend)

Ralphie May (Comedian)
Rose Marie (Legendary Actress)
Julio Oscar Mechoso (Veteran actor, “The Legend of Zorro”)
Dorothy Mengering (David Letterman’s Mom)
Heather Menzies-Urich (Actress, “Sound of Music”)
Dina Merrill (Actress and Philanthropist)
Roger Moore (Actor, “James Bond” Films)
Erin Moran (Actress, “Happy Days”)
Jeanne Moreau (French Actress, “Jules and Jim” and “Diary of a Chambermaid” and the U.S film “Ever After”)
Charlie Murphy (Actor and Comedian and Eddie Murphy’s Brother)

Jim Nabors (Singer-Actor, “Gomer Pyle”)
Michael Nygyist (Swedish Actor, the original “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”)

Paul O’Neill (Founder, Trans-Siberian Orchestra)
Don Ohlmeyer (NBC Producer and Executive)
Robert Osborne (TCM Host and Film Historian)

Tommy Page (90’s Singer and Music Executive [He was only 46]
Michael Parks (Character Actor, “Kill Bill”)
Bill Paxton (Actor, “Titanic” and TV adaptation “Training Day”)
Tom Petty (Rock n Roll Legend)
Gabe Pressman (Legendary New York TV Reporter)

Della Reese (Singer – Actress, “Touched By An Angel”)
Don Rickles (Legendary Comedian)
George Romero (Legendary Director, “Night of the Living Dead”)

Sam Shepard (Playwright and Actor, “The Right Stuff”)
Keely Smith (Legendary Jazz and Pop Singer)
Liz Smith (Gossip Columnist)
Harry Dean Stanton (Veteran Actor, “Big Love” and “Twin Peaks”)
Ward Sylvester (Manager and TV Producer, “The Monkees”)

Jay Thomas (Actor, “Murphy Brown” and “Cheers”)
Mary Tyler Moore (Legendary Actress)
Frank Vincent (Actor, “The Sopranos”)

Robert James Waller (Author, “Bridges of Madison County”)
Judge Joseph Wapner (Judge, “People’s Court”)
Ann Wedgeworth (Actress, “Three’s Company”)
Adam West (Legendary Actor, “Batman”)
John Wetton (Bassist and Singer for Asia)

Francine York (Actress, Classic “Batman” Series, 1960’s)
Malcolm Young (Rock Band AC/DC, Co-Founder and Guitarist)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.


Read Full Post »

2017 has been – to say the least – a very tumultuous year with more political scandals and unbelievable issues within the world of the government than any of us want to think about, countless accusations of sexual misconduct all throughout the world of Hollywood and horrible acts of Mother Nature that wreaked havoc on so many cities [and so much more].

Despite all of the bad things that have transpired this year, I want to focus – as much as possible – on all the good and fun things that have taken place.

For more than a decade now, I have been compiling these year-end round-ups on all things entertainment industry related. Granted it’s impossible to focus on EVERY single thing that has taken place, but I certainly have attempted to take a look at as many as I can through this year’s round-up articles.

As I have mentioned many time before, I have been a big fan of television since I was a child, becoming “the walking encyclopedia of the entertainment industry” (at least for my small hometown back in Pennsylvania) by the time I was in my mid-teens. And all these years later, I am still enamored with the good things that happen in the world of television, movies, music and books.

Two of my favorite activities are reading books and attending TV-related events. This year I was able to get through 30 books, and while that may seem like a small amount of reading material, for me [who is a SLOW reader] that is a lot for me. Among my favorites have been several trilogies by Susan Mallery and numerous books by Lauren Oliver, Becca Fitzpatrick, Amanda Grange, Beth Pattillo and Teri Wilson. I am finishing the year off reading “Drums of Autumn” by Diana Gabaldon in order to be prepared for season four of Outlander, which will air at some point in 2018.

I also attended a handful of TV-related events, sadly for the very LAST time. Those events included the annual Paley Fest at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, Wonder Con at the Convention Center in Anaheim, California and the annual Comic Con in San Diego.

But that’s more than enough about me. Starting tomorrow my first year-end round-up of this year will focus on the good and bad of television and for each day throughout the rest of the year I will spotlight the year that was: 2017.

NOTE: I apologize in advance for any omissions, spelling errors or oversights I may have made, but I don’t apologize for any of the choices I made.

Read Full Post »

The following industry personalities (listed in alphabetical order) passed away in 2016 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans:

Mohammad Ali (Boxing Legend)
René Angélil (Music Impresario and Céline Dion’s husband)

Kenny Baker (The Man Behind R2-D2 in “Star Wars”)
David Bowie (Legendary Singer)
Dave Brubeck (Legendary Jazz Musician)

Charmain Carr (Actress, “Liesl” from The Sound of Music)
Fidel Castro (Revolutionary leader and Cuba’s former President)
William Christopher (Actor, “Father Mulcahy” on M*A*S*H*)
Chyna (Former WWE Wrestler)
Leonard Cohen (Singer-Songwriter, Poet and Novelist)
Natalie Cole (Singer)
Pat Conroy (Author, “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini”)

Gloria DeHaven (Actress from Golden Age of Hollywood)
Daniel Dion (Celine Dion’s brother)
Jerry Doyle (Actor, “Babylon 5”)
Larry Drake (Actor, “L.A. Law”)
Patty Duke (Legendary Actress)

Ronnie Claire Edwards (Actress, “The Waltons”)

Joey Feek (Country Singer from Duo Joey + Rory)
Fyvush Finkel (Actor, “Picket Fences” and “Boston Public”)
Carrie Fisher (Actress, Princess Leia in Star Wars franchise)
Tommy Ford (Actor “Martin” and “The Parkers”)
Bernard Fox (Veteran Actor)
Glenn Fry (Guitarist and Singer “The Eagles”)

Zsa Zsa Gabor (Veteran Actress)
Michael Galeota (Disney Star) [he was only 31]
George Gaynes (Character Actor, “Punky Brewster,” “Tootsie” and “Police Academy”)
David Gest (Music Producer)
Gary Glasberg (NCIS Showrunner)
Ron Glass (Actor, “Barney Miller” and “Firefly”)
John Glenn (Former Astronaut and U.S. Senator)
Christina Grimmie (“The Voice” Competitor) [She was only 22]
Reg Grundy (Australian Media Mogul)

Merle Haggard (Country Music Legend)
Dan Haggerty (Actor, “Grizzly Adams”)
Earl Hamner (Creator of “The Waltons”)
Curtis Hanson (Director, “L.A. Confidential”)
Pat Harrington (Actor, “One Day at a Time”)
Florence Henderson (Actress, “The Brady Bunch”)
Steven Hill (Actor, “Law & Order” and original TV series “Mission: Impossible”)
Arthur Hiller (Director, “Love Story)
Robert Horton (Actor, “Wagon Train”)
Ken Howard (SAG-AFTRA President and Former Actor “White Shadow”)
Gordie Howe (Hockey Legend)
Beth Howland (Actress, “Alice”)
David Huddleston (Veteran Character Actor, “The Big Lebowski”)

Barry Jenner (Actor, “Family Matters” and “Dallas”)

Paul Kantner (Founding Member of Jefferson Airplane)
George Kennedy (Veteran Actor, “Airport”)

Harper Lee (Author, “To Kill a Mockingbird”)
Ron Lester (Actor, “Popular” and “Varsity Blues”)

Jerry Maren (Actor, “Wizard of Oz”) [the last of the Munchkins]
David Margulies (Actor, “Ghostbusters”]
Garry Marshall (Legendary Director)
George Martin (Beatles Producer)
Joseph Mascolo (Veteran Actor, “Days of Our Lives”)
Michael Massee (Actor, “The Crow” and “24”)
John McLaughlin (Host, “The McLaughlin Group”)
George Michael (Singer)

Noel Neill (Actress, the original Lois Lane from the 1950’s “Superman” TV series)
Agnes Nixon (Creator of All My Children and One Life to Live)
Marni Nixon (“Ghost Singer” for Deborah Kerr in The King and I; Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn in Fair Lady)
James Noble (Actor, “Benson”)
Bill Nunn (Character Actor, “Do the Right Thing”)

Hugh O’Brian (Veteran Actor, “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp”)

Arnold Palmer (Golf Legend)
Jon Polito (Character Actor “The Big Lebowski” and “Miller’s Crossing”)
Prince (Legendary Musician, Singer and Songwriter)

Nancy Reagan (Former First Lady)
Janet Reno (First Female U.S. Attorney General)
Debbie Reynolds (Legendary Actress)
Alan Rickman (Veteran Actor)
Jack Riley (Actor, “The Bob Newhart Show”)
Doris Roberts (Veteran Actress)

Morley Safer (Legendary “60 Minutes” Reporter)
Theresa Saldana (Actress, “Raging Bull”)
Joe Santos (Actor, “Rockford Files”)
John Saunders (ESPN Commentator)
Antonin Scalia (Supreme Court Justice)
William Schallert (Veteran Actor and Former SAG President)
Garry Shandling (Actor and Comedian)
Jim Simpson (Sportscaster)
Frank Sinatra, Jr.
David Smyrl (Actor, “Sesame Street”)

Alan Thicke (Actor, “Growing Pains”)
Grant Tinker (Former NBC Chairman-CEO and Founder of MTM Enterprises)

Vanity (aka Denise Katrina Matthews) (Lead singer of 80’s girl group Vanity 6)
Peter Vaughan (Veteran Actor, “Game of Thrones”)
Robert Vaughn (Actor, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”)
Abe Vigoda (Actor, “Barney Miller”)

Janet Waldo (Voice actress for Judy Jetson from “The Jetsons”)
Tom Whedon (Father of Joss Whedon)
Maurice White (Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire)
Elie Wiesel (Nobel Prize-Winning Author)
Gene Wilder (Veteran Actor, “Willy Wonka” and “Young Frankenstein”)
Van Williams (Actor, “The Green Hornet”)

Anton Yelchin (Actor, “Star Trek”) [He was only 27]
Alan Young (Veteran Actor, “Mister Ed” Star)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.


Read Full Post »

I have been putting together my year-end round-ups on all things entertainment industry related for over a decade now. Just thinking about how long I have been compiling these round-ups is surprising to me. As I have said before, every year it is an interesting experience keeping track of the unique events that take place in the world of entertainment.

Of course, it’s impossible to focus on every single thing that has happened over the past year, but I sure do enjoy focusing on all the good things that have taken place throughout the year.

I have been a big fan of television since I was a child, becoming “the walking encyclopedia of the entertainment industry” (at least for my small hometown back in Pennsylvania) by the time I was in my mid-teens. In fact, I like to joke that I was IMDB before IMDB existed. But, I also love reading, and for the past decade I have set a goal for myself to read at least 20 books a year.

For avid book readers that total is pretty small, but given the fact that my small business is just going into its second year of existence, all the freelance writing I do throughout the year and – well, real life – getting through 20 books is a lot for me.

Among the books that I enjoyed the most this year included a trilogy of books by authors Susan Mallery, Veronica Roth and Nora Roberts as well as several Jane Austen inspired books by Alexandra Potter and Kaitlyn Saunders. I also really enjoyed Deadly Heat by Richard Castle, The Heirloom Girls by Chris Culler and the Diana Gabaldon novel Voyager (in preparation for season three of Outlander).

Just like last year I attended Paley Fest in Los Angeles, but unlike every other year for the past few years, I only attended one panel for Supergirl. I also enjoyed attending WonderCon and Comic Con; a panel for the Syfy TV series 12 Monkeys at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills as well as the Paley Center’s annual Preview Parties for each of the five major networks. As a big fan of Outlander, I also got to see the cast and creative minds behind the show in March as well as the Outlander Exhibit at the Paley Center

That’s enough about me, though. Starting tomorrow my first year-end round-up focusing on the best and worst of television will go live and for each day throughout the rest of the year I will spotlight the year that was: 2016.

NOTE: I apologize in advance for any omissions, spelling errors or oversights I may have made, but I don’t apologize for any of the choices I made.

Read Full Post »

The following industry personalities (listed in alphabetical order) passed away in 2015 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans:

Frank Albanese (Actor, The Sopranos)
Jayne Meadows Allen (Comedian and Actress)
Lynn Anderson (Country Singer)

Yogi Berra (New York Yankees Legend)
James Best (Actor, The Dukes of Hazzard)
Theodore Bikel (Actor, Fiddler On The Roof)
Khan Bonfils (British Actor Star Wars and James Bond franchises
Martin E. Brooks (Actor, Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman)
Bobbi Kristina Brown (Daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown) [She was only 22]

David Canary (Actor, All My Children)
Judy Carne (Laugh-In Star)
David Carr (New York Times Critic and Media Columnist)
Jack Carter (Comedic Actor)
Brian Clemens (Writer/Producer of TV’s The Avengers)
George Coe (Original SNL Member and Archer Voice Actor)
Jackie Collins (Romance Novelist)
Former Child Actor (and TV Producer) Kevin Corcoran, “Old Yeller”
Catherine “The Log Lady” Coulson (Actress, Twin Peaks)
Yvonne Craig (Actress, Batgirl on Batman)
Wes Craven (Director, Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street)
Jonathan Crombie (Canadian actor from Anne of Green Gables movies)
Andrae Crouch (Gospel Singer)
Suzanne Crough (Actress, The Partridge Family)

Jean Darling (Actress, Our Gang)
Little Jimmy Dickens (Legendary Country Singer)
Donna Douglas (Actress, The Beverly Hillbillies)
Richard Dysart (Actor, L.A. Law)

Anita Ekberg (Legendary Actress)

Joe Franklin (TV Talk Show Pioneer)
Stan Freberg (Satirist and Looney Tunes Voice Actor)

Frank Gifford (Sportscaster and NFL Hall of Famer)
Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. (Son of Hollywood Mogul)
Lesley Gore (Singer-Songwriter “It’s My Party”)
John Guillermin (British Director, The Towering Inferno and 1976’s King Kong)

Edward Hermann (Actor Gilmore Girls and Lost Boys)
James Horner (Film Composer “Titanic”)

Marty Ingels (Comic Actor and Industry Raconteur) [and husband of Legendary Shirley Jones]

Doug Jones (Actor, The Love Bug)
Louis Jourdan (Veteran Actor, Gigi)

Mary Doyle Keefe (Model for “Rosie the Riveter” in the Normal Rockefeller painting)
B.B. King (Blues Legend)
Ben K. King (Legendary Singer, “Stand By Me”)

Jack Larson (Veteran Actor, The Adventures of Superman)
Christopher Lee (Actor The Lord of the Rings)
Cynthia Lennon (John Lennon’s first wife and mother of Julian Lennon)
Geoffrey Lewis (Actor, High Plains Drifter and Any Which Way You Can) [Father of actress Juliette Lewis]
Robert Loggia (Veteran Actor)

Nathaniel Marston (Actor, One Life to Live)
Colleen McCullough (Best-Selling Author, “The Thorn Birds”)
Patrick Macnee (Actor, Avengers)
Anne Meara (Comedian-Actress) [Ben Stiller’s mom]
Windell Middlebrooks (Actor, Body of Proof) [He was only 36}
Martin Milner (Actor, Adam-12 and Route 66)
Al Molinaro (Actor, Happy Days)
Ron Moody (Actor, Original box office movie Oliver!)
Dickie Moore (Actor, Little Rascals)
Harry Morgan (Actor, MASH)
Bess Myerson (Former Miss America and TV Personality)

Taylor Negron (Actor-Comedian)
Leonard Nimoy (Legendary Actor)
Patricia Norris (Costume Designer)

Maureen O’Hara (Legendary Actress)
Gary Owens (Legendary TV announcer)

Melody Patterson (Actress, F Troop)
Jim Perry (Game Show Host)
Amanda Peterson (Actress, Can’t Buy Me Love)
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper (Wrestler and Actor)
Ben Powers (Actor, Good Times)

Roger Rees (Actor, Warehouse 13)
Alex Rocco (Actor, The Godfather)

Stuart Scott (ESPN Anchor)
Omar Sharif (Legendary Actor)
Bob Simon (Longtime 60 Minutes and CBS News Reporter)
Sam Simon (Co-Creator, The Simpsons)
Percy Sledge (Legendary Singer, “When a Man Loves a Woman”)
Stewart Stern (Writer of Rebel Without a Cause)

Rod Taylor (Actor, The Birds)
Nigel Terry (Actor, Excalibur)
Fred Thompson (Actor, Law & Order and Former Senator)
Mary Ellen Trainor (Actress, Roswell and The Goonies)

Dick Van Patten (Actor, Eight is Enough)
Daniel Von Bargen (Actor, Seinfeld)

Alberta Watson (Actress, Le Femme Nikita)
Scott Weiland (Lead Singer, Stone Temple Pilots)
Jerry Weintraub (Legendary Producer)
Grace Lee Whitney (Actress, Star Trek)
Ben Woolf (Actor, American Horror Story)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.


Read Full Post »

I have been putting together my year-end round-ups on all things entertainment industry related for a decade now; and every year it is a unique experience keeping track of the unique events that take place. Of course, it’s impossible to focus on every single thing that happens, but I sure do enjoy focusing on all the good things that have taken place throughout the year.

As always, I have spent a big portion of my year watching lots and lots of television – I wasn’t known as the “TV Queen” (at one point in time) for nothing. But, I also enjoy reading, setting a goal for myself of reading about 20 books every year. That may not sound like a lot (for some people) but between starting my own new business, all of my freelance writing and real life, reading 20 books is, sometimes, pushing it for me.

That being said, just like last year, I was able to exceed my goal, reading a number of Jane Austen inspired books by Amanda Grange, Jenni James, Beth Revis and Diana Peterfruend as well as several sci-fi-themed novels by Rachel Hawkins, Carrie Jones, Stacey Kade and Deborah Harkness. I also thoroughly enjoyed Frozen Heat by Richard Castle, the latest Veronica Mars book by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham and a delightful book by author Chris Culler. There were also pre-requisite romance novels by Nora Roberts and Robyn Carr as well as Finding Fraser by KC Dyer, a wonderful book based around a woman’s obsession with Jamie Fraser from the Outlander novel.

Just like last year I attended Paley Fest in Los Angeles, taking part in panels for Scandal, Teen Wolf, Outlander, Arrow and The Flash and Jane the Virgin. I, once again, attended Wonder Con in Anaheim, Comic Con in San Diego and the annual Preview Parties held at the Paley Center for Media.

That’s enough about me, though, so starting tomorrow my first year-end round-up focusing on the best and worst of television will go live and for each day throughout the rest of the year I will spotlight the year of 2015.

NOTE: I apologize in advance for any omissions, spelling errors or oversights I may have made, but I don’t apologize for any of the choices I made.

Read Full Post »

The following industry personalities (listed in alphabetical order) passed away in 2014 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans:

Maya Angelou (Renowned Poet, Author and Civil Rights Activist)
Lord Richard Attenborough (English actor)
James Avery (Actor, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)

Lauren Bacall (Film Legend)
Skye McCole Bartusiak, (21-Year Old Actress, The Patriot)
Polly Bergen (Legendary screen and stage Actress)
Norman Bridwell (Creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog Books
Shirley Temple Black (Legendary Actress and Humanitarian)
James Brady (White House Press Secretary)
David Brenner (Legendary Comedian)
Richard Bull (Actor, Little House on the Prairie)

Sid Caesar (TV Pioneer and Legendary Comedian)
Mary Grace Canfield (Veteran Character Actress, Green Acres)
Bob Casale (Original member of the band Devo)
Joe Cocker (Singer)

Ann B. Davis (TV legend, The Brady Bunch)
Oscar de la Renta (Legendary Fashion Designer)
Ruby Dee (Oscar-Nominated Actress)
Hal Douglas (Iconic Narrator of Movie Trailers)
Ruth Robinson Duccini (last surviving female Munchkin from classic Wizard of Oz film)

Eileen Ford (Modeling Agency Founder)

James Garner (Legendary Actor)
Gerry Goffin (Lyricist and former husband to singer-songwriter Carole King)
Michael Gottlieb (Writer-Director, Mannequin [film])

Charlie Haden (Legendary Jazz Bassist)
Robert Halmi, Sr. (Legendary Producer)
Bob Hastings (Actor, McHale’s Navy)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Legendary Actor)
Jan Hooks (Saturday Night Live Alum)
Bob Hoskins (British Actor, Who Framed Roger Rabbit)

P.D. James (Legendary British Authoress)
Jimi Jamison (Survivor Lead Singer)
Michael Johns (American Idol Contestant/Australian Singer-Songwriter)
Russell Johnson (The Professor on Gilligan’s Island)
Sarah Jones (Camera Operator [killed in tragic train/filming accident])

Casey Kasem (Radio Personality)
Daniel Keyes (Author, “Flowers for Algernon”)
Richard Kiel (James Bond Villain)

Jim Lange (TV Host, The Dating Game)
Glen A. Larson (Series Creator, Battlestar Galactica and Magnum PI)
Stephen Lee (Seinfeld Actor)
Cynthia Lynn (Actress, Hogan’s Heroes)

Sheila MacRae (Actress, The Honeymooers)
Dave Madden (Actor, The Partridge Family)
Lee Marshall (Voice of Tony the Tiger)
Arlene Martel (Actress, Star Trek)
Frank Marth (Actor, The Honeymooners)
Paul Mazursky (Director, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice)
Denny Miller (Athlete-Actor, Tarzan on Big Screen)
Mary Ann Mobley (Miss America 1959, TV & Film Actress)

Mike Nichols (Legendary Director of The Graduate)

Kate O’Mara (British Actress, Dynasty)

Don Pardo (Legendary Announcer for Saturday Night Live)
Gerard Parkes (Fraggle Rock Actor)
Elizabeth Pena (Actress, Matador)
John Pinette (Stand-Up Comedian and Actor, The Punisher)

Harold Ramis (Actor, Ghostbusters and Stripes)
Tommy Ramone (Founding Member of The Ramones)
James Rebhorn (Actor, Homeland)
Mary Rodgers (Author, “Freaky Friday”)
Mickey Rooney (Film Legend)
Jimmy Ruffin (Motown Singer)

James Shigeta (Actor, Die Hard and Midway)
Dick Smith (Legendary Hollywood Makeup Artist)
Marcia Strassman (Actress, Welcome Back Kotter)
Elaine Stritch (Emmy and Tony-winning Actress)
Carol Ann Susi (Actress, The Big Bang Theory)

Meshach Taylor (Actor, Designing Women)

Garrick Utley (Veteran TV Journalist)

Jerry Vale (1950’s Singer “You Don’t Know Me”)

Ralph Waite (Actor, The Waltons and NCIS)
Eli Wallach (Legendary Actor)
Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley on the original classic Addams Family)
Robin Williams (Legendary Actor-Comedian)

Louis “Louie” Zamperini (World War II Hero and Olympic Medalist)
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (Actor, 77 Sunset Strip)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.


Read Full Post »

For nearly 10 years now, I have been putting together my year-end round-ups on all things related to the entertainment industry; and what a great year it has been for all of these mediums, right? There have been plenty of scandals, horrors (Isis anyone?!), Twitter wars and unexpected calamities but, above all else, fans have been provided with a lot of great entertainment [when tragedies have been overlooked].

Like every year, I want to take a little bit of time, selfish though it may be, before I get underway with the 2014 year-end round-ups to focus on some of the goals I set for myself each year.

Besides watching a lot of television, one of my favorite hobbies is reading; and each year I strive to read at least 20 books in the year. This year I actually made it well beyond that goal (YAY me!!). Among the books that I wanted to read were the first two books of the Outlander franchise by Diana Gabaldon – mainly in preparation for the debut of the Starz TV series Outlander – and I thoroughly enjoyed both books. I also read two more books by fictional TV character Richard Castle (from the TV series Castle) and the first book in the Veronica Mars book series. And, very much like last year, I enjoyed reading more Jane Austen inspired books from authors like Cora Harrison, Jenni James, Syrie James, Nina Benneton, Belinda Roberts as well as The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet.

This year I was also busy with TV events, including Wonder Con in Anaheim and Comic Con in San Diego. Like so many past years, I also attended the annual Paley Fest in Los Angeles, participating in their panels for Veronica Mars, Pretty Little Liars, the Lost reunion, Sleepy Hollow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I also attended the following events at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills: The Evolution of the Crime Drama Heroine, a screening for the new show Manhattan, the center’s Annual Preview Parties and The Facts of Life reunion.

I also thoroughly enjoyed attending one of the first Outlander events in Los Angeles, saluting the Starz drama well before it debuted in August, attending the Sarah McLachlan concert at the Greek Theatre and the Nocking Point Wines (Stephen Amell’s wine company) Fall Release Party in Studio City.

But enough about all of that, tomorrow I will start rolling out my year-end round-up starting with the best (and worst) in television with much more as 2014 comes to an end.

NOTE: I apologize in advance for any omissions, spelling errors or oversights I may have made, but I don’t apologize for any of the choices I made.

Read Full Post »

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