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Old 06-17-2012, 11:46 AM   #51
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Rodney King found dead in swimming pool, reports say

Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police in 1991 sparked the L.A. riots, was found dead at his California home on Sunday. He was 47.

Police said King's fiancée discovered him at the bottom of the swimming pool at their Rialto, Calif., home, about 55 miles east of Los Angeles.

Police responded to a call at 5:25 a.m., pulled King out of the pool and attempted CPR, but could not revive him.

King's representative Suzanne Wickman confirmed to his death to KABC-TV.

The cause of death is unknown, but police are investigating it as a drowning. Rialto Police Capt. Randy DeAnda told CNN there were no preliminary signs of foul play.

King was beaten by four white LAPD officers following a DUI stop on March 3, 1991. Footage captured by an amateur videographer showed the officers hitting King 56 times with wooden batons.

"I just got lucky that night to have the cameras on me," King said in April, marking the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots. "When I saw the tape, I was so happy that it was on tape and then looking at it, it was like I was in another body. I felt like I had died in that one, and was just watching it."

The four officers--Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon--were acquitted of criminal charges, sparking the riots that left 55 people dead.

"It felt like Armageddon," King said of the acquittal. "It felt like the end of the world. I was hurt. I was past upset."

"I was raised not to be violent, and not to be rioting and carrying on like a wild man," he added, "but at the same time, there was a side of me saying, 'What else can you do?' I didn't agree with it, but I understood."
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:47 AM   #52
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Unhappy Rodney King Dead at 47

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20...ead-at-47?lite
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:10 PM   #53
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yeah RIP
Beat ya to it
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:16 PM   #54
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Nora Ephron, famed screenwriter and director, dies at 71

"When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle" and "Silkwood" screenwriter Nora Ephron has died, according to the Washington Post and CBS News. She was 71 years old and was said to be suffering from leukemia.

Known as a prolific writer spanning film, stage, novels, works of journalism and blogs, Ephron was also an accomplished filmmaker, having both written and directed "Julie & Julia" (2009), "Bewitched" (2005), "You've Got Mail" (1998), "Michael" (1996), "Mixed Nuts" (1994), "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) and "This Is My Life" (1992). She was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Born in 1941 in New York City to a writerly Jewish family, Ephron moved with her parents and three sisters to Beverly Hills when she was four. Both of her parents were screenwriters as are two of her sisters; and she has another sister who is a journalist and novelist.

Ephron majored in political science at Wellesley College but also wrote for the school paper, graduating in 1962. She interned at the White House during John F. Kennedy's administration and later became a reporter at the New York Post — eventually gaining praise for inserting her own voice into her work as part of the "New Journalism" movement.

Her 1983 novel "Heartburn" — which was later made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson — was inspired by her second marriage to famed Washington Post journalist Carl Bernstein (who helped break the Watergate story. Ephron married three times and has two sons.)

Some actors appeared in Ephron-penned films multiple times: Meryl Streep appeared in "Silkwood," "Heartburn" and "Julie & Julia"; Tom Hanks starred in "Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail" as did Meg Ryan — who also starred in "When Harry Met Sally."
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:14 AM   #55
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'My Three Sons' big brother Don Grady dies at 68

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Don Grady, who was one of television's most beloved big brothers as Robbie Douglas on the long-running 1960s hit "My Three Sons," died Wednesday. He was 68.

His "My Three Sons" co-star Barry Livingston, who played youngest brother Ernie, confirmed Grady's death to The Associated Press. Livingston said Grady had been suffering from cancer and receiving hospice care at his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. But the exact cause and place of death were not immediately clear.

"It's the oldest cliche in the world when TV brothers start referring to each other like biological brothers, but he was the oldest, and somebody I looked up to and learned from a great deal about life," Livingston said.

Born in San Diego as Don Louis Agrati, Grady had a brief stint singing and dancing on "The Mickey Mouse Club" starting at age 13.

But he was best known by far as one of Fred MacMurray's "My Three Sons" on the series that ran on ABC and later CBS from 1960 to 1972.

The popular show, which featured MacMurray as a widowed aeronautical engineer struggling to raise three older boys, was among the longest running family sitcoms of all time with 380 episodes.

In the show's earlier years Douglas was actually the middle brother, with Tim Considine playing the oldest, Mike, and Stanley Livingston playing the youngest, Chip. When Considine departed, Barry Livingston became the adopted "third" son, and Grady became the cool, handsome and assured eldest brother that much of America adored.

A musical prodigy from a young age, Grady appeared with a band, the Greefs, in the series, and in real life played drums for The Yellow Balloon, who had a minor hit with a self-titled song in 1967.

He made a handful of guest appearances on TV series in the 1970s and 1980s, but worked primarily as a musician and composer, writing the theme for "The Phil Donahue Show" and music for the Blake Edwards film "Switch" and the popular Las Vegas show "EFX," a showcase for "Phantom of the Opera" star Michael Crawford.

"The one real through-line in his life was music," Livingston said. "I would think Don would love to be remembered for his great music as much as a teen idol and television icon."
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:18 AM   #56
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Retired astronaut killed in Florida jet ski crash

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Officials in Flroida say a retired astronaut died in a jet ski crash off Pensacola Beach.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say 51-year-old Capt. Alan G. Poindexter was riding on a jet ski with his 22-year-old son Sunday afternoon when his 26-year-old son crashed into them with another jet ski.

The Pensacola News Journal (http://on.pnj.com/NnHS9b) reports Zachary Poindexter hit the rear of the jet ski, knocking his father into the water.

Wildlife agency spokesman Stan Kirkland says Poindexter was pulled from the water and taken to the beach where friends performed CPR. He died a short time later at a hospital. Zachary Poindexter and his brother Samuel were not injured.

The fish and wildlife agency is investigating the crash.

Poindexter piloted the Atlantis space shuttle in 2008.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:37 AM   #57
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NEW YORK (AP) — Celeste Holm, a versatile, bright-eyed blonde who soared to Broadway fame in "Oklahoma!" and won an Oscar in "Gentleman's Agreement" but whose last years were filled with financial difficulty and estrangement from her sons, died Sunday, a relative said. She was 95.

Holm had been hospitalized about two weeks ago with dehydration. She asked her husband on Friday to bring her home and spent her final days with her husband, Frank Basile, and other relatives and close friends by her side, said Amy Phillips, a great-niece of Holm's.

Holm died around 3:30 a.m. at her longtime apartment on Central Park West, located in the same building where Robert De Niro lives and where a fire broke out last month, Phillips said.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:18 AM   #58
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HUDSON, N.Y. (AP) — Tom Davis, a writer who with Al Franken helped develop some of the most popular skits in the early years of "Saturday Night Live," died Thursday at age 59.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:52 PM   #59
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‘Jeffersons’ Star Sherman Hemsley Dies at 74

Sherman Hemsley, the actor best known for playing George Jefferson on “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” has died, his publicist confirmed to ABCNews.com. He was 74.

His cause of death was not immediately known.

Hemsley acted on stage before going to the screen, making his Broadway debut as Gitlow in “Purlie.” He first found sitcom stardom in “All in the Family,” playing Archie Bunker’s African-American neighbor.

In 1975, Hemsley and his “All in the Family” co-star Isabel Sanford were given their own spin-off, “The Jeffersons.” The hit show earned Hemsley Emmy and Golden Globe nominations in 1984 and 1985, respectively.



From 1986 to 1991, Hemsley played Deacon Ernest Frye on the TV series, “Amen.”

Hemsley and Sanford reunited multiple times in the ’90s and ’00s to reprise their roles as George and Louise “Weezy” Jefferson, appearing on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and in commercials.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:07 AM   #60
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chad Everett, the blue-eyed star of the 1970s TV series "Medical Center" who went on to appear in such films and TV shows as "Mulholland Drive" and "Melrose Place," has died. He was 75.

Everett's daughter, Katherine Thorp, said he died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles after a year-and-a-half-long battle with lung cancer.

Everett played sensitive surgeon Joe Gannon for seven seasons on "Medical Center." The role earned him Golden Globe nominations in 1971 and 1973.

With a career spanning more than 40 years, Everett guest starred on such TV series as "The Love Boat," ''Murder, She Wrote" and "Without a Trace." Everett most recently appeared on the TV shows "Castle" and "Supernatural," where he appeared as an older version of Jensen Ackles' character Dean Winchester.

Everett's films credits included "The Jigsaw Murders," ''The Firechasers" and director Gus Van Sant's remake of "Psycho."

Everett was born Raymon Lee Cramton in South Bend, Ind., and graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit before moving to Los Angeles and becoming a contract player with MGM.

In perhaps his most memorable recent film role, Everett played a lothario who engages in a steamy audition with a young ingenue portrayed by Naomi Watts in director David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive".

Everett is survived by his two daughters, Katherine and Shannon, and six grandchildren. He was married to actress Shelby Grant for 45 years until her death last year.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:06 AM   #61
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In a world more to his liking, Gore Vidal might have been president, or even king. He had an aristocrat's bearing — tall, handsome and composed — and an authoritative baritone ideal for summoning an aide or courtier.

But Vidal made his living — a very good living — from challenging power, not holding it. He was wealthy and famous and committed to exposing a system often led by men he knew firsthand. During the days of Franklin Roosevelt, one of the few leaders whom Vidal admired, he might have been called a "traitor to his class." The real traitors, Vidal would respond, were the upholders of his class.

The author, playwright, politician and commentator whose vast and sharpened range of published works and public remarks were stamped by his immodest wit and unconventional wisdom, died Tuesday at age 86 in Los Angeles.

Vidal died at his home in the Hollywood Hills at about 6:45 p.m. of complications from pneumonia, his nephew Burr Steers said. Vidal had been living alone in the home and had been sick for "quite a while," Steers said.

Vidal "meant everything to me when I was learning how to write and learning how to read," Dave Eggers said at the 2009 National Book Awards ceremony, where he and Vidal received honorary citations. "His words, his intellect, his activism, his ability and willingness to always speak up and hold his government accountable, especially, has been so inspiring to me I can't articulate it."

Along with such contemporaries as Norman Mailer and Truman Capote, he was among the last generation of literary writers who were also genuine celebrities — regulars on talk shows and in gossip columns, personalities of such size and appeal that even those who hadn't read their books knew their names.

His works included hundreds of essays, the best-selling novels "Lincoln" and "Myra Breckenridge" and the Tony-nominated play "The Best Man," a melodrama about a presidential convention revived on Broadway in 2012. Vidal appeared cold and cynical on the surface, dispassionately predicting the fall of democracy, the American empire's decline or the destruction of the environment. But he bore a melancholy regard for lost worlds, for reason and the primacy of the written word, for "the ancient American sense that whatever is wrong with human society can be put right by human action."

Vidal was uncomfortable with the literary and political establishment, and the feeling was mutual. Beyond his honorary National Book Award, he won few major writing prizes, lost both times he ran for office and initially declined membership into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, joking that he already belonged to the Diners Club. (He was eventually admitted, in 1999).

But he was widely admired as an independent thinker — in the tradition of Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken — about literature, culture, politics and, as he liked to call it, "the birds and the bees." He picked apart politicians, living and dead; mocked religion and prudery; opposed wars from Vietnam to Iraq and insulted his peers like no other, once observing that the three saddest words in the English language were "Joyce Carol Oates." (The happiest words: "I told you so").

Ralph Ellison labeled him a "campy patrician." Vidal had an old-fashioned belief in honor, but a modern will to live as he pleased. He wrote in the memoir "Palimpsest" that he had more than 1,000 "sexual encounters," nothing special, he added, compared to the pursuits of such peers as John F. Kennedy and Tennessee Williams. Vidal was fond of drink and alleged that he had sampled every major drug, once. He never married and for decades shared a scenic villa in Ravello, Italy, with companion Howard Austen.

In print and in person, he was a shameless name dropper, but what names! John and Jacqueline Kennedy. Hillary Clinton. Tennessee Williams. Mick Jagger. Orson Welles. Frank Sinatra. Marlon Brando. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon.

Vidal dined with Welles in Los Angeles, lunched with the Kennedys in Florida, clowned with the Newmans in Connecticut, drove wildly around Rome with a nearsighted Williams and escorted Jagger on a sightseeing tour along the Italian coast. He campaigned with Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry Truman. He butted heads, literally, with Mailer. He helped director William Wyler with the script for "Ben-Hur." He made guest appearances on everything from "The Simpsons" to "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In."

Vidal formed his most unusual bond with Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. The two exchanged letters after Vidal's 1998 article in Vanity Fair on "the shredding" of the Bill of Rights and their friendship inspired Edmund White's play "Terre Haute."

"He's very intelligent. He's not insane," Vidal said of McVeigh in a 2001 interview.

Vidal also bewildered his fans by saying the Bush administration likely had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks; that McVeigh was no more a killer than Dwight Eisenhower and that the U.S. would eventually be subservient to China, "The Yellow Man's Burden."

Christopher Hitchens, who once regarded Vidal as a modern Oscar Wilde, lamented in a 2010 Vanity Fair essay that Vidal's recent comments suffered from an "utter want of any grace or generosity, as well as the entire absence of any wit or profundity." Years earlier, Saul Bellow stated that "a dune of salt has grown up to season the preposterous things Gore says."

A longtime critic of American militarism, Vidal was, ironically, born at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., his father's alma mater. Vidal grew up in a political family. His grandfather, Thomas Pryor Gore, was a U.S. senator from Oklahoma. His father, Gene Vidal, served briefly in President Franklin Roosevelt's administration and was an early expert on aviation. Amelia Earhart was a family friend and reported lover of Gene Vidal.

Vidal was a learned, but primarily self-educated man. Classrooms bored him. He graduated from the elite Phillips Exeter Academy, but then enlisted in the Army and never went to college. His first book, the war novel "Williwaw," was written while he was in the service and published when he was just 20.

The New York Times' Orville Prescott praised Vidal as a "canny observer" and "Williwaw" as a "good start toward more substantial accomplishments." But "The City and the Pillar," his third book, apparently changed Prescott's mind. Published in 1948, the novel's straightforward story about two male lovers was virtually unheard of at the time and Vidal claimed that Prescott swore he would never review his books again. (The critic relented in 1964, calling Vidal's "Julian" a novel "disgusting enough to sicken many of his readers"). "City and the Pillar" was dedicated to "J.T.," Jimmie Trimble, a boarding school classmate killed during the war whom Vidal would cite as the great love of his life.

Unable to make a living from fiction, at least when identified as "Gore Vidal," he wrote a trio of mystery novels in the 1950s under the pen name "Edgar Box" and also wrote fiction as "Katherine Everard" and "Cameron Kay." He became a playwright, too, writing for the theater and television. "The Best Man," which premiered in 1960, was made into a movie starring Henry Fonda. Paul Newman starred in "The Left-Handed Gun," a film adaptation of Vidal's "The Death of Billy the Kid."

Vidal also worked in Hollywood, writing the script for "Suddenly Last Summer" and adding a subtle homoerotic context to "Ben-Hur." The author himself later appeared in a documentary about gays in Hollywood, "The Celluloid Closet." His acting credits included "Gattaca," ''With Honors" and Tim Robbins' political satire, "Bob Roberts."

But Vidal saw himself foremost as a man of letters. He wrote a series of acclaimed and provocative historical novels, including "Julian," ''Burr" and "Lincoln." His 1974 essay on Italo Calvino in The New York Review of Books helped introduce the Italian writer to American audiences. A 1987 essay on Dawn Powell helped restore the then-forgotten author's reputation and bring her books back in print. Fans welcomed his polished, conversational essays or his annual "State of the Union" reports for the liberal weekly "The Nation."

He adored the wisdom of Montaigne, the imagination of Calvino, the erudition and insight of Henry James and Edith Wharton. He detested Thomas Pynchon, John Barth and other authors of "teachers' novels." He once likened Mailer's views on women to those of Charles Manson. (From this the head-butting incident ensued, backstage at "The Dick Cavett Show.") He derided William F. Buckley, on television, as a "crypto Nazi." He was accused of anti-Semitism after labeling conservative Norman Podhoretz a member of "the Israeli fifth column." He labeled Ronald Reagan "The Acting President" and identified Reagan's wife, Nancy, as a social climber "born with a silver ladder in her hand."

In the 1960s, Vidal increased his involvement in politics. In 1960, he was the Democratic candidate for Congress in an upstate New York district, but was defeated despite Ms. Roosevelt's active support and a campaign appearance by Truman. (In 1982, Vidal came in second in the California Democratic senatorial primary). In consolation, he noted that he did receive more votes in his district in 1960 than did the man at the top of the Democratic ticket, John F. Kennedy.

Thanks to his friendship with Jacqueline Kennedy, with whom he shared a stepfather, Hugh Auchincloss, he became a supporter and associate of President Kennedy, and wrote a newspaper profile on him soon after his election. With tragic foresight, Vidal called the job of the presidency "literally killing" and worried that "Kennedy may very well not survive."

Before long, however, he and the Kennedys were estranged, touched off by a personal feud between Vidal and Robert Kennedy apparently sparked by a few too many drinks at a White House party. By 1967, the author was an open critic, portraying the Kennedys as cold and manipulative in the essay "The Holy Family." Vidal's politics moved ever to the left and he eventually disdained both major parties as "property" parties — even as he couldn't help noting that Hillary Clinton had visited him in Ravello.

Meanwhile, he was again writing fiction. In 1968, he published his most inventive novel, "Myra Breckenridge," a comic best seller about a transsexual movie star. The year before, with "Washington, D.C.," Vidal began the cycle of historical works that peaked in 1984 with "Lincoln."

The novel was not universally praised, with some scholars objecting to Vidal's unawed portrayal of the president. The author defended his research, including suggestions that the president had syphilis, and called his critics "scholar-squirrels," more interested in academic status than in serious history.

But "Lincoln" stands as his most notable work of historical fiction, vetted and admired by a leading Lincoln biographer, David Herbert Donald, and even cited by the conservative Newt Gingrich as a favorite book. Gingrich's praise was contrasted by fellow conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann, who alleged she was so put off by Vidal's "Burr" that she switched party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

In recent years, Vidal wrote the novel "The Smithsonian Institution" and the nonfiction best sellers "Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace" and "Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta." A second memoir, "Point to Point Navigation," came out in 2006. In 2009, "Gore Vidal: Snapshots in History's Glare" featured pictures of Vidal with Newman, Jagger, Johnny Carson, Jack Nicholson and Bruce Springsteen.

Vidal and Austen chose cemetery plots in Washington, D.C., between Jimmie Trimble and one of Vidal's literary heroes, Henry Adams. But age and illness did not bring Vidal closer to God. Wheelchair-bound in his 80s and saddened by the death of Austen and many peers and close friends, the author still looked to no existence beyond this one.

"Because there is no cosmic point to the life that each of us perceives on this distant bit of dust at galaxy's edge," he once wrote, "all the more reason for us to maintain in proper balance what we have here. "Because there is nothing else. No thing. This is it. And quite enough, all in all."

Vidal is survived by his half-sister Nina Straight and half brother Tommy Auchincloss.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:58 AM   #62
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Composer Marvin Hamlisch dies at 68 in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Marvin Hamlisch, who composed the scores for dozens of movies including "The Sting" and won a Tony for "A Chorus Line," has died in Los Angeles at 68.

Family spokesman Jason Lee said Hamlisch died Monday after a brief illness. Other details aren't being released.

Hamlisch's career included composing, conducting and arranging music from Broadway to Hollywood.

The composer won every major award in his career, including three Academy Awards, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globes.

His music colored some of film and Broadway's most important works.

Hamlisch composed more than 40 film scores, including "Sophie's Choice," ''Ordinary People" and "Take the Money and Run." He won his third Oscar for his adaptation of Scott Joplin's music for "The Sting." On Broadway, Hamlisch received the Pulitzer Prize for long-running favorite "The Chorus Line" and wrote "The Goodbye Girl" and "Sweet Smell of Success." A news release from his publicist said he was scheduled to fly to Nashville, Tenn., this week to see a production of his hit musical, "The Nutty Professor."

Hamlisch earned his place in American culture through his music, but he also had a place in popular culture. Known for his nerdy look, complete with thick eyeglasses, that image was sealed on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" during Gilda Radner's "Nerd" sketches. Radner, playing Lisa Loopner, would swoon over Hamlisch.

Hamlisch was principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Pasadena, Seattle and San Diego. He was to be announced to the same position with the Philadelphia Orchestra and also was due to lead the New York Philharmonic during its upcoming New Year's Eve concert.

He leaves behind a legacy in film and music that transcended far beyond notes on the page. As illustrative as the scenes playing out in front of the music, his scores helped define some of Hollywood's most iconic works.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:31 PM   #63
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The Marshall Tucker Band sent over the sad news that longtime member Stuart Swanlund died in his sleep of natural causes at his Chicago home this past Saturday, August 4, 2012. They provided these details:

Swanlund joined The Marshall Tucker Band in 1985 where his slide guitar work added a new dimension to the band – on newer material as well as standards like "Searchin' For A Rainbow," "Can't You See," and "Fire On The Mountain."

"Stuart, or 'Stubie' as we called him, was the longest standing member of The Marshall Tucker Band from 1985, onward," says Marshall Tucker Band founding member Doug Gray. "He recently took a hiatus from the road due to health problems and even with those issues, Stuart's enthusiasm onstage never waivered. Our thoughts and prayers are with Stuart's family and those who knew him. We have lost a great friend."

Stuart Craig Swanlund was born in Puerto Rico on April 3, 1958. Swanlund was reared in Spartanburg, SC, where he would sit on his grandmother's porch and listen to his neighbor, Doug Gray, rehearse with a rock and roll band across the street. He was only five years old, and had no way of knowing he'd one day play alongside Gray and The Marshall Tucker Band.

When not touring with The Marshall Tucker Band, Swanlund performed in Chicago with local band, the Tone Generators.

According to Doug Gray, one of the highlights of Swanlund's time on the road with The Marshall Tucker Band was last winter when he performed on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium.

Swanlund is survived by his son, William "Billy" Swanlund, his lifelong partner Stacey Schmaren, three grandchildren and sister, Suzanne Spencer. He was 54 years old.

Funeral services for Swanlund will be held this Saturday, August 11 at 11:00 AM at the Good Shepherd Memorial Park in Boiling Springs, SC.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:19 PM   #64
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Helen Gurley Brown, longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and author of the empowered-woman classic "Sex and the Single Girl," has died at age 90, according to a statement by Hearst Magazines.

Brown started as a copywriter on the West Coast before publishing "Sex and the Single Girl" in 1962. In it, she urged women to embrace their sexuality, earn their own money and put themselves forward in the workplace.

Seeking to continue the conversation sparked by her book, she created a mock-up of a new magazine to speak to this empowered woman. Hearst Magazines took an interest, and turned over the existing Cosmopolitan to Brown. According to Cosmo, the September 1965 issue was the first to "totally reflect Helen's vision." There are now 64 international editions of the publication.
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:03 AM   #65
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Jerry Nelson, Count of 'Sesame Street,' dies at 78


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jerry Nelson, the puppeteer behind a delightful menagerie of characters including Count von Count on "Sesame Street" and Gobo Fraggle on "Fraggle Rock," has died. He was 78.

Nelson, who suffered from emphysema, died Thursday night in his Massachusetts home on Cape Cod, the Sesame Workshop said Friday.

"Every description of his characters describes Jerry as well," said "Sesame Street" executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente. "Silly, funny, vulnerable, passionate and musical, for sure. That voice of his was superb."

Although he'd been in declining health for some time "his attitude was never bad," Parente said Friday. "He was always so grateful for what he had in his life."

"We're having a rough day on the Street," she said.

In a tribute posted online by the nonprofit Sesame Workshop, Nelson was lauded for his artistry and the "laughter he brought to children worldwide" with the Count and other Muppet puppets including Sherlock Hemlock, Herry Monster and the Amazing Mumford.

Nelson was part of other projects featuring Jim Henson's Muppets, including the 1984 movie "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and TV series including the 1980s "Fraggle Rock" and 1990s "Muppets Tonight"

In recent years, Nelson gave up the physically demanding job of operating the Count and other puppets on "Sesame Street" but still voiced the characters, the workshop said. The show's new season launches in September and Nelson's voice will be heard.

In 2010, he released the album "Truro Daydreams," the title that referred to the Massachusetts town.

Survivors include Nelson's wife, Jan, Parente said. Funeral plans were not immediately available.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:09 PM   #66
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Starship guitarist Mark Abrahamian dies after gig

The lead guitarist for rock group Starship, Mark Abrahamian, has died of a heart attack aged 46.

He collapsed following a concert in the US state of Nebraska on Sunday night, where Starship had opened for fellow bands Survivor and Boston, according to road manager Scott Harrison.

Abrahamian had been guitarist with Starship, whose hits include Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, since 2000.

The band said they were "shocked and saddened" by the "sudden loss".

A message posted on their Twitter account continued: "We will miss you, brother. Rest in peace, Mark".

Abrahamian lived in Austin, Texas, and was engaged to be married in December.

"We had just finished the show," explained manager Harrison. "We were back in the dressing room eating. He apparently told the bass player he wasn't feeling well."

He revealed Abrahamian then went into the next room and was talking to his fiancee on the phone when he collapsed.

He was then taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"It's a shock to everyone," added Harrison, who said Abrahamian's fiancee had since revealed he had been having chest pains "for a while".

Starship's scheduled concert in Utah on Monday was cancelled.

Although Abrahamian joined Starship 11 years ago, the band's history goes back to the 1960s with Jefferson Airplane and in 1980s Jefferson Starship.

Their biggest hits came in the mid-80s, when We Built This City and Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now became top 20 hits in the UK.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:42 PM   #67
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Your Attention Please: Morgan Freeman and Alfonso "Carlton" Ribeiro are not dead!

http://www.vibe.com/article/morgan-f...illed-internet
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:54 PM   #68
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This Just In: Tony Danza Not Dead, Did Not Fall Off Cliff In New Zealand
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/326304/tony...qOhuFJDH2A3.99
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:21 AM   #69
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I used to watch his show when I was a kid

Publicist: 'Moon River' singer Andy Williams dies

ST. LOUIS (AP) — With a string of gold albums, a hit TV series and the signature "Moon River," Andy Williams was a voice of the 1960s, although not the '60s we usually hear about.

"The old cliche says that if you can remember the 1960s, you weren't there," the singer once recalled. "Well, I was there all right, but my memory of them is blurred — not by any drugs I took but by the relentless pace of the schedule I set myself."

Williams' plaintive tenor, boyish features and easy demeanor helped him outlast many of the rock stars who had displaced him and such fellow crooners as Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. He remained on the charts into the 1970s, and continued to perform in his 80s at the Moon River Theatre he built in Branson, Mo. In November 2011, when Williams announced that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, he vowed to return to performing the following year: His 75th in show business.

Williams died Tuesday night at his home in Branson following a yearlong battle with the disease, his Los Angeles-based publicist, Paul Shefrin, said Wednesday. He was 84.

He became a major star the same year as Elvis Presley, 1956, with the Sinatra-like swing "Canadian Sunset," and for a time he was pushed into such Presley imitations as "Lips of Wine" and the No. 1 smash "Butterfly." But he mostly stuck to what he called his "natural style," and kept it up throughout his career. In 1970, when even Sinatra had given up and (temporarily) retired, Williams was in the top 10 with the theme from "Love Story," the Oscar-winning tearjerker. He had 18 gold records and three platinum, was nominated for five Grammy awards and hosted the Grammy ceremonies for several years.

Movie songs became a specialty, from "Love Story" and "Days of Wine and Roses" to "Moon River." The longing Johnny Mercer-Henry Mancini ballad was his most famous song, even though he never released it as a single because his record company feared such lines as "my huckleberry friend" were too confusing and old-fashioned for teens. The song was first performed by Audrey Hepburn in the beloved 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," but Mancini thought "Moon River" ideal for Williams, who recorded it in "pretty much one take" and also sang it at the 1962 Academy Awards. Although "Moon River" was covered by countless artists and became a hit single for Jerry Butler, Williams made the song his personal brand. In fact, he insisted on it.

"When I hear anybody else sing it, it's all I can to do stop myself from shouting at the television screen, 'No! That's my song!'" Williams wrote in his 2009 memoir, titled, fittingly, "Moon River and Me."

"The Andy Williams Show," which lasted in various formats through the 1960s and into 1971, won three Emmys and featured Williams alternately performing his stable of hits and bantering casually with his guest stars. It was on that show that Williams — who launched his own career as part of an all-brother quartet — introduced the world to another clean-cut act — the original four singing Osmond Brothers of Utah. Their younger sibling Donny also made his debut on Williams' show, in 1963 when he was 6 years old. Four decades later, the Osmonds and Williams would find themselves in close proximity again, sharing Williams' theater in Branson, Mo.

Williams did book some rock and soul acts, including the Beach Boys, the Temptations and Smokey Robinson. On one show, in 1970, Williams sang "Heaven Help Us All" with Ray Charles, Mama Cass and a then-little known Elton John, a vision to Williams in his rhinestone glasses and black cape. But Williams liked him and his breakthrough hit "Your Song" enough to record it himself.

Williams' act was, apparently, not an act. The singer's unflappable manner on television and in concert was mirrored offstage.

"I guess I've never really been aggressive, although almost everybody else in show business fights and gouges and knees to get where they want to be," he once said. "My trouble is, I'm not constructed temperamentally along those lines

His wholesome image endured one jarring interlude. In 1976, his ex-wife, former Las Vegas showgirl Claudine Longet, shot and killed her lover, skiing champion Spider Sabich. The Rolling Stones mocked the tragedy in "Claudine," a song so pitiless that it wasn't released until decades later. Longet, who said it was an accident, spent only a week in jail. Williams stood by her. He escorted her to the courthouse, testified on her behalf and provided support for her and their children, Noelle, Christian and Robert.

Also in the 1970s, Williams was seen frequently in the company of Ethel Kennedy, Robert Kennedy's widow. The singer denied any romantic involvement.

He was born Howard Andrew Williams in Wall Lake, Iowa, on Dec. 3, 1927. In his memoir, Williams remembered himself as a shy boy who concealed his insecurity "behind a veneer of cheek and self-confidence." Of Wall Lake, Williams joked that it was so small, and had so little to do, that crowds would gather just to watch someone get a haircut.

Williams began performing with his older brothers Dick, Bob and Don in the local Presbyterian church choir. Their father, postal worker and insurance man Jay Emerson Williams, was the choirmaster and the force behind his children's career. When Andy was 8, Williams' father brought the kids for an audition on Des Moines radio station WHO's Iowa Barn Dance. They were initially turned down, but Jay Emerson Williams and the young quartet kept returning and they were finally accepted, their show bringing them attention from Chicago, Cincinnati and Hollywood. Another star at WHO was a young sportscaster named Ronald Reagan, who would later praise Williams as a "national treasure."

The brothers joined Bing Crosby in recording the hit "Swinging on a Star" in 1944 for Crosby's film "Going My Way," and Andy, barely a teenager, was picked to dub Lauren Bacall's voice on a song for the film "To Have and Have Not." His voice stayed in the film until the preview, when it was cut because it didn't sound like Bacall's.

Later the brothers worked with Kay Thompson of eventual "Eloise" fame, then a singer who had taken a position as vocal coach at MGM studios, working with Judy Garland, June Allyson and others. After three months of training, Thompson and the Williams Brothers broke in their show at the El Rancho Room in Las Vegas to a huge ovation. They drew rave reviews in New York, Los Angeles and across the nation, earning a peak of $25,000 a week.

Williams, analyzing their success, once said: "Somehow we managed to work up and sustain an almost unbearable pitch of speed and rhythm."

After five years, the three older brothers, who were starting their own families, had tired of the constant travel and left to pursue other careers.

Williams initially struggled as a solo act and was so broke at one point that he resorted to eating food intended for his two dogs.

"I had no money for food, so I ate it," he recalled in 2001, "and it actually was damned good."

A two-year TV stint on Steve Allen's "Tonight Show" and a contract with Cadence Records turned things around. In the 1960s. Williams later formed his own label, Barnaby Records, which released music by the Everly Brothers, Ray Stevens and Jimmy Buffett.

Williams was a lifelong Republican who once accused President Obama of "following Marxist theory." But he acknowledged experimenting with LSD, opposed the Nixon administration's efforts in the 1970s to deport John Lennon, and, in 1968, was an energetic supporter of Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. When Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles in June 1968, just after winning the California Democratic primary, Williams sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" at his funeral.

"We chose that song because he used it on the campaign trail," Williams later said of Kennedy, who had been a close friend. "He had a terrible voice but he loved to sing that song. The only way I got through singing in church that day was by saying, 'This is my job. I can't let emotion get in the way of the song.' I really concentrated on not thinking about him."

After leaving TV, Williams headed back on the road, where his many Christmas shows and albums made him a huge draw during the holidays. One year in Des Moines, however, a snowstorm kept the customers away, and the band's equipment failed to reach Chicago in time for the next night's show, forcing the musicians to borrow instruments from a high school band.

"No more tours," Williams decreed.

He decided to settle in Branson, the self-proclaimed "live entertainment capital of the country," with its dozens of theaters featuring live music, comedy and magic acts.

When he arrived in 1992, the town was dominated by country music performers, but Williams changed that, building the classy, $13 million Andy Williams Moon River Theater in the heart of the city's entertainment district and performing two shows a night, six days a week, nine months of the year. Only in recent years did he begin to cut back to one show a night.

Not surprisingly, his most popular time of the year was Christmas, although he acknowledged that not everyone in Hollywood accepted his move to the Midwest.

"The fact is most of my friends in L.A. still think I'm nuts for coming here," he told The Associated Press in 1998.

He and his second wife, the former Debbie Haas, divided their time between homes in Branson and Palm Springs, where he spent his leisure hours on the golf course when Branson's theaters were dark during the winter months following Christmas.

Retirement was not on his schedule. As he told the AP in 2001: "I'll keep going until I get to the point where I can't get out on stage."
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:58 AM   #70
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Nice list you created.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:55 AM   #71
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Just thought I'd mention Gary Collins died
he was the host of many talk shows and the Miss America pagent I think
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:35 PM   #72
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First adult film star Sylvia Kristel dies at 60

Sylvia Kristel, arguably the first adult film star, has died at the age of 60 after suffering a long battle with cancer.

"She died during the night during her sleep," her agent told the AFP. She was admitted to a hospital in July after suffering a stroke, though she was first diagnosed with throat and lung cancer roughly ten years ago.

The Dutch actress, born in Utrecht, Holland, made waves around the world as the star of 1974 erotic French film "Emmanuelle." In the controversial film she played the woman after which it was named -- a young model Emmanuelle, married to a much older man. The plot revolves around the couple as they move to Bangkok. Kristel's character then engages in a number of extramarital affairs as her husband doesn't seem to mind.

The film garnered a major following, played for 11 years in a theater on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, and remains one of the most successful French films of all time. "Emmanuelle" also inspired a number of sequels in which Kristel also starred.

Kristel's performance in the "soft core" film even drew critical praise from Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert. He wrote in 1975: What makes the film work is the performance of Sylvia Kristel... [who] projects a certain vulnerability that makes several of the scenes work... The performers in most skin flicks seem so impervious to ordinary mortal failings, so blase in the face of the most outrageous sexual invention, that finally they just become cartoon characters. Kristel actually seems to be present in the film, and as absorbed in its revelations as we are. [via the BBC]

Kristel appeared in nearly 60 titles over the years, including television movies. She admitted to drug and alcohol addiction and experienced her share of bad relationships, later saying if she had it to do over again, she would have never entered those relationships -- with the exception of early boyfriend, Belgian author Hugo Claus.

Having won a few notable beauty pageants by the time she was 21, Claus is the one who initially encouraged Kristel to become an actress. The couple had a son, Arthur, in 1975.

Somewhat ironically, Kristel was educated in a convent and had a strict, religious upbringing -- something she fled from as a teenager when she moved to Amsterdam.

A private funeral will be held for Kristel, according to her agent.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:32 AM   #73
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Actress Deborah Raffin dies at age 59
Actress Deborah Raffin dies of leukemia at age 59

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Deborah Raffin, an actress who ran a successful audiobook company with the help of her celebrity friends, has died. She was 59.

Raffin died Wednesday of leukemia at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, her brother, William, told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/R0q9NM ). She was diagnosed with the blood cancer about a year ago.

Raffin, the daughter of 20th Century Fox contract player Trudy Marshall, had roles in movies such as "Forty Carats" and "Once Is Not Enough." She also starred in television miniseries, most notably playing actress Brooke Hayward in "Haywire" and a businesswoman in "Noble House," based on the James Clavell saga set in Hong Kong.

She and her then-husband, music producer Michael Viner, launched Dove Books-on-Tape in the mid-1980s, which blossomed into a multimillion-dollar business. The company's first best-seller was Stephen Hawking's opus on the cosmos entitled "A Brief History of Time."

Raffin's job was getting celebrities to provide voices for some of the books. Among them were the nonfiction bestsellers "Anatomy of an Illness" and "The Healing Heart," both by Norman Cousins and read by Jason Robards Jr. and William Conrad, respectively.

Raffin also compiled celebrities' Christmas anecdotes for a 1990 book, "Sharing Christmas," which raised money for groups serving the homeless. It included stories from Margaret Thatcher, Kermit the Frog and Mother Teresa.

Raffin and Viner sold the company in 1997 and the couple divorced eight years later. Viner died of cancer in 2009.

Raffin is survived by her two siblings, William and Judy Holston; and a daughter, Taylor Rose Viner.

Services are set for Sunday in Culver City.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:09 AM   #74
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Reinhold Weege, creator of "Night Court," dies at 63

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Reinhold Weege, the creator of the hit NBC sitcom "Night Court," has died, a spokeswoman for the family told TheWrap. He was 63 years old.

He also wrote for other notable television shows, including "Barney Miller" and "M*A*S*H."

However, it was "Night Court," a show that poked gentle fun at bureaucratic absurdity, that would become his signature work. The series centered on a young judge (Harry Anderson) saddled with handling the bottom of the barrel cases that come into Manhattan's night court and featured a breakout performance by John Larroquette as a skirt-chasing lawyer.

The show started out tackling serious legal issues, but over the course of its nine seasons, slowly expunged commentary in favor of broad humor.

Weege might never have entered show business had he not been fired from a job in journalism. In a 1994 piece in the Chicago Tribune, he wrote that he was working as a reporter and editor of a tiny suburban paper when he reported on a secret meeting, between the town and the Pritzker hotel chain about a proposal to build a monorail, hotels and a 60-story office building.

After his paper was less than thrilled with the piece he copyrighted it and had it picked up by a larger paper -- the result was he got canned.

"Shortly after that, I sold our couch, the only asset my wife and I had, got in the car and headed toward Hollywood," Weege wrote.

The rest is history.

Weege is survived by his ex-wife Shelley, two daughters and a granddaughter.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:36 AM   #75
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lol remind me the things
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