JOHNNY WEISSMULLER - January 20
Not so wise now, are you, Johnny?
Former Olympic swimmer turned actor.
Mainly known for becoming the most popular
jungle hero in the Tarzan film series.
(Age: 79. C.O.D.: Cause.)
ETHEL MERMAN - February 15
Loud bisexual stage and film star.
Did many popular movies, including
There's No Business Like Show Business,
co-starring Marilyn Monroe. Do the math.
(Age: 74. C.O.D.: Cause.)
JACKIE COOGAN - March 1
Kid actor star who later made it big again
playing Uncle Fester on the classic 1960s
TV comedy series The Addams Family.
(Age: 70. C.O.D.: Fat Jack(ie) heart attack.)
WILLIAM POWELL - March 5
Actor who starred in The Thin Man film series,
Life With Father, and Mr. Roberts.
(Age: 91. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
SAM JAFFE - March 24
Had many film roles, including Gunga Din,
and co-starred in the TV series Ben Casey.
(Age: 90. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
MARVIN GAYE - April 1
Soul music legend whose life was ruined by cocaine use.
Happy April Fool's Day - you're dead!
(Age: 42. C.O.D.: Murder from gun by his father.)
ANSEL ADAMS - April 22
Popular black and white photographer of
outdoor settings, used on many calenders.
See the book Ansel Adams: An Autobiography.
(Age: 82. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
COUNT BASIE - April 26
Basie just stopped counting.
Brilliant bandleader who presented
many tunes that strayed from the usual
pop circles and delved into jazz.
They included Satin Doll, and Take The A Train.
(Age: 79. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
JACK BARRY - May 4
Now he doesn't know Jack.
Longtime host of many TV game shows,
including Joker's Wild in the 1970s,
and the infamous 21 in the '50s.
Had a heart condition so his answer
to that was to go jogging in Southern
California on a record hot day.
Ding! Wrong answer, Jack!
(Age: 66. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
ANDY KAUFMAN - May 16
Currently wrestling with the angel Gabriel.
Played goofy foreign guy Latka
on the 1970s comedy TV series Taxi.
(Age: 33. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
LILLIAN HELLMAN - June 30
Wrote The Children's Hour, and The Little Foxes,
plus a memoir called Pentimento, which inspired
the movie Julia starring Jane Fonda.
(Age: 79. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
CHRISTINE MCINTYRE - July 8
During the 1940s she was the gorgeous blonde
in many films starring The Three Stooges.
Their product may have been called B-movies,
but McIntyre's body always rated an A-plus.
JIM FIXX - July 20
Couldn't "fix" this one, could ya?
Running popularist of the '70s who wrote a
bestseller called The Complete Book Of Running.
Died of a heart attack - while jogging!
Not a very good year to be a runner.
(Age: 52. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
JAMES MASON - July 27
Actor in many films, including
Elephant Walk, and The Verdict.
(Age: 75. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
FRED WARING - July 29
Popular chorale director, created musical singing acts,
including The Pennsylvanians, and started summer music
institutes. He also mentored Robert Shaw and Harry Simeone.
(Age: 84. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
RICHARD BURTON - August 5
A fine Welsh actor, he appeared in many classic films,
including Cleopatra, The Taming Of The Shrew,
Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, and the remake of 1984.
Twice-married to Liz Taylor, he was
also the father of actress Kate Burton.
(Age: 58. C.O.D.: Brain hemorrhage.)
RICHARD DEACON - August 8
Gay actor who did many TV guest appearances
during the 1960s and '70s, including
The Twilight Zone. But was best known for
playing the producer on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
(Age: 62. C.O.D.: Brain hemorrhage.)
TRUMAN CAPOTE - August 25
Mostly known as the writer of
Breakfast At Tiffanys, and In Cold Blood.
Which his childhood friend author
Harper Lee helped him research.
(Age: 59. C.O.D.: Overdose of booze and pills.)
RICHARD BRAUTIGAN - September 16
Poet who wrote several collections,
most notably trout Fishing In America.
(Age: 49. C.O.D.: Suicide by gun.)
RICHARD BASEHART - September 17
Charcter actor in several films,
but mainly known as the star of
the 1960s sci-fi TV series
Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.
(Age: 70. C.O.D.: Stroke.)
WALTER PIDGEON - September 25
Veteran actor in many classics, including
Mrs. Miniver, and Forbidden Planet.
Also became a Screen Actors Guild
president during the 1950s.
(Age: 83. C.O.D.: Stroke.)
ALICE NEEL - October 13
Bohemian portrait artist.
JON-ERIK HEXUM - October 18
(Age: 66. C.O.D.: Accidentally shot himself with blank from gun.)
OSKAR WERNER - October 23
Actor mainly known as the fireman in Fahrenheit 451,
the film based on Ray Bradbury's sci-fi classic book.
(Age: 51. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
INDIRA GANDHI - October 31
President of India.
Happy Halloween - you're dead!
(Age: 26. C.O.D.: Murdered, just like that other Gandhi.)
PETER LAWFORD - December 24
British-toned film actor who was also
in the TV version of The Thin Man.
Happy Christmas Eve - you're dead!
(So drink up!)
(Age: 61. C.O.D.: Cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol use.)
SAM PECKINPAH - December 28
Director of many 1970s hits, including Straw Dogs,
The Wild Bunch, and Pat Garret And Billy The Kid.
(Age: 59. C.O.D.: Heart attack due to cocaine use.)
= WELL, THAT'S ALL FOR THIS YEAR, FOLKS! BUT STAY TUNED - YOU KNOW THE GRIM REAPER AIN'T DONE WITH THOSE CELEBS YET! MEANWHILE, ON THE UPPER RIGHT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK OUT THE LIST OF LATE LAMENTED LAYABOUTS FROM OTHER YEARS! ENJOY! =