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Archive for the ‘Condolences’ Category

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.

TOMORROW: Ratings

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carrie-and-debbie

To many out there, Carrie Fisher is, and always will be, Princess Leia Organa, member of the Rebellion and General in the Resistance. She’s Leia to me (and will be for all time), but that was not where I first met Carrie Fisher.

As a young girl, impressionable and naive, there were few bands that were “kid” appropriate for long drives across California, or through Illinois and the Midwest. But there was Paul Simon. It wasn’t just “Graceland” that defined the days in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the entire collective works. I was introduced to “Heart and Bones” about “one and one-half wandering Jews” and being curious, I learned that Carrie Fisher was the one-half Jew of the song.

From that point on, I have one thing in common with her. It was curious to me to know that a woman who was the child of celebrities found herself intertwined with other celebrities. And she sounded conflicted and determined in the song, even if I knew the relationship didn’t last.

But she was there and she inspired a heartfelt song.

A few years later, as a teen When Harry Met Sally entered my lexicon. It was grown-up (“I’ll have what she’s having” and that scene probably was my first introduction to the concept of an orgasm) and it was not just Harry and Sally that I fell in love with, but with Jess and Marie.

Marie is a supportive, strong friend, who manages to get her friend the best (and gets the best for herself too). Sure, Marie is complicated – no qualms about dating a married man – but she is the support for Sally in good times and bad.

Even if When Harry Met Sally is about Harry and Sally, Marie (and Fisher) steal the show in quiet ways.

Here – fighting over a wagon wheel coffee table – Marie is herself and still funny. (Others have already pointed out how good Marie’s lines are.)

This is the Carrie Fisher I want to remember. Strong, funny, complicated.

debbie-and-carrie

PS: While Carrie Fisher is symbolic for Hollywood, so too is her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Reynolds dying just a day and a half after her daughter is heartbreaking and I wish the Reynolds, Fisher and Lourd families well.

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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.

TOMORROW: Ratings

Read Full Post »

arnold-palmer

Sunday evening, one of America’s great golf ambassadors, Arnold Palmer, passed away. He was the driving force for golf in America in the 1960s, shaping how and when Americans watched and cared for golf as a sport.

My life has been shaped by golf from a young age. My father is an avid golfer, albeit a golfer with a twenty handicap. But, he loves the sport and he wanted me to love it too. It was one of those constants: if there was a major tournament that weekend, there would be golf on one television.

Looking back now, golf wouldn’t have been the staple of my house without Arnold Palmer and his passion and skill. Between the late 1950s and early 1960s, Palmer won numerous tournaments with class and flare. He made golf exciting, he made it look like something that could appeal to everyman.

Two of golf’s other ambassadors, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, were fans of Palmer’s style and grace of the game. They followed in Palmer’s footsteps, creating a game that mattered to hundreds of people.

His death, complications from heart problems, will leave a hole in the golf world. The world that lives and dies on birdie puts, the lip of the cup foiling the perfect shot on the green, and the long drive that lands in the middle of the green.

To say that Palmer had a lasting impact on the game of gold is an understatement. Television, sports television especially, thrive on excitement, great runs and dramatic finishes. Palmer provided all of those and more, returning to tournaments as recently as this summer, reminding all the fans that he still cared about the game and his role in it.

Sunday wasn’t just the day we lost a gold legend, but we also lost one great man.

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