ANNE FRANCIS - January 2
Happy day after New Year's - you're dead - honey!
Another Forbidden Planet star...
is forbidden from the planet.
(See Leslie Nielsen from just 5 weeks ago.)
There was also that great mannequin episode
"After Hours" she did on the Twilight Zone
And that TV series about Honey West,
The hot chick detective, was the best!
PETE POSTLETHWAITE - January 2
(Same day as Anne Francis.)
Fine UK character who usually played an oddball bad guy.
Films included Alien 3, In The Name Of The Father,
The Usual Suspects, Jurassic Park: The Lost World,
Amistad, The Constant Gardener, Inception, and The Town.
[C.O.D.: Stomach cancer. Age: 64.]
JILL HAWORTH - January 3
(Must have heard about Anne Francis and Pete Postlewaite the day before.)
British actress in Exodus.
PETER YATES - January 8
Directed the following cool films:
The Hot Rock
The Friends Of Eddie Coyle
For Pete's Sake
Mother, Jugs & Speed
An Innocent Man
Year Of The Comet
JOHN DYE - January 10
Yet another one taking an extremely
unfortunate-sounding name far too literally.
Co-starred in teen films including Making The Grade,
Modern Girls, and Campus Man, but became known
mainly for his role of Andrew in
Touched By An Angel.
[C.O.D.: Heart attack. Age: 47.]
DAVID NELSON - January 11
(Must have heard about John Dye the day before.)
(With the adventurous Nel fam: Left to right from top -
Irrepressible Ricky, dull David, smiling Ozzie and Harriet.)
David's the only one in the entire history of our famed
obit files to die on a five digit matching date - 1/11/11.
Finally, THERE'S something that little bro couldn't do better!
PAUL PICERNI - January 12
(Must have heard about David Nelson the day before.)
Actor in The Untouchables TV series and House Of Wax.
SUSANNAH YORK - January 15
Actress in Superman.
SARGENT SHRIVER - January 18
Husband of Eunace Kennedy.
BRUCE GORDON - January 20
Actor in The Untouchables TV series
(just like Paul Picerni on January 12.)
and in Piranha.
JACK LALANNE - January 23
Star of The Jack LaLanne TV show (and also a cameo in The Ladies Man).
Drop and give me six, Jack - six feet under.
DAVID FRYE - January 24
(Must have heard about Jack LaLanne the day before.)
Rich Little was good, Frank Gorshin was great,
but David Frye was fantastic! His satiric
impressions set politics back by 40 years,
and for that he deserves our eternal thanks!
CHARLIE CALLAS - January 27
(No relation to classy singer Maria... we assume.)
Actor in High Anxiety.
MARIA SCHNEIDER - February 3
Super-sexy actress in Last Tango In Paris.
LENA NYMAN - February 4
(Must have heard about Maria Schneider the day before.)
I Am Curious? Yellow? Who cares what it meant?
It sure gave millions of puberty-age boys
a whole new interest in foreign films!
TURA SATANA - February 4
(Must have heard about Lena Nyman the same day,
and Maria Schneider the day before!)
Spooky-sexy actress in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
BETTY GARRETT - February 12
Actress in On The Town.
KENNETH MARS - February 12
(Same day as Betty Garrett.)
Actor in Young Frankenstein and other assaults on the senses,
several directed by complete comedy madman Mel Brooks.
GEORGE SHEARING - February 14
(Happy Valentine's Day - you're dead!)
Good composer and piano player.
Like, really good.
LEN LESSER - February 16
Character actor in dozens of movies,
but mainly known for one classic role:
Uncle Leo on Seinfeld, of course!
DUKE SNIDER - February 27
One of the stars of the Brooklyn Dodgers,
known as the legendary Boys Of Summer.
GARY WINICK - February 27
(Same day as Duke Snider.)
Directed Sam The Man, Tadpole, 13 Going On 30,
Charlotte's Web, Bride Wars, Letters To Juliet.
Not a clinker in the bunch. This young guy was really good,
and would have had a fantastic career if he hadn't been cut down
in his prime, just a month before his 50th birthday. Huge loss.
[COD: Brain cancer.]
JANE RUSSELL - February 28
(Must have heard about Duke Snider and Gary Winick the day before.)
Actress in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as well as lots of other musical,
comedy and adventure stuff. This sultry gal could do it all. But as sexy
as she was, she always remained a lady. (I got to meet her in 1993!)
MIKE DESTEFANO - March 6
I can barely even muster the energy to
post the obvious gag about him being a
Top 5 finalist on the Last Comic Standing
TV show in 2010, but he's not standing anymore.
It's a cliche, but he had a good future ahead of him.
Only in his early forties? That's just ridiculously young.
[COD.: Heroin addict for over 15 years, from age 15 to 31.
HIV Positive. Massive heart attack. Take your pick, folks.]
NATE DOGG - March 15
Yes, this rap crapper used a fake name.
But hold on - maybe you would too,
if your real name was... Nathan Hale!
MICHAEL GOUGH - March 17
Apparently, it's NOT Gough time!
Brit actor mainly known as Alfred the butler
in the late '80s/early '90s Batman film quadrilogy.
Happy St. Patrick's Day - you're dead!
FERLIN HUSKY - March 17
(Same day as Michael Gough.)
Happy St. Patrick's Day - you're also dead!
This typically bucolic country crooner
would never top his masterpiece movie,
Hillbillies In A Haunted House, co-starring
Don Bowman, Merle Haggard and
Joi Lansing as Boots Malone. Yowza!
[Age: 85. Guess he was husky!]
PINETOP PERKINS - March 21
Keyboard king for Muddy waters and other blues greats.
[Age: 97. Reverse of Liz Taylor's 79.]
ELIZABETH TAYLOR - March 23
On top of all that physical mega-hotness and sultry
emoting, she also had violet eyeballs.
Showbiz ladies are usually expected to be
good-looking, but that was just ridiculous.
[Age: 79. Reverse of Pinetop Perkins' 97.]
GERALDINE FERRARO - March 26
Ran for V.P. and lost in the Orwellian year of 1984.
Stinkbombs Ronnie Raygun and Georgie Bush Sr.
were given their second terrible term instead.
FARLEY GRANGER - March 27
To the Reaper no longer a stranger.
Pretty decent old school actor, mainly known for
Rope, Small Town Girl, and Strangers On A Train.
SIDNEY LUMET - April 9
Not even one Oscar did he get.
Great director, but was never given the golden statue
(no, "special Oscars" for PR don't count, folks.)
because the film academy has always been very dumb.
Some of Sid's sizzling screeners:
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Find Me Guilty
Dog Day Afternoon
Murder On The Orient Express
Long Day's Journey Into Night
The Fugitive Kind
That Kind Of Woman
12 Angry Men
MICHAEL SARRAZIN - April 17
Canadian actor in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
PHOEBE SNOW - April 26
The sky is crying and the snow is melting.
Yes, folks, yet another one hit wonder
Gets struck by the Reaper's thunder.
(Now that's poetry, man.)
[COD: Brain Hemorrhage, Coma, Blood Clots, Pneumonia
and Congestive Heart Failure - your choice.]
MARIAN MERCER - April 27
Solid comedy actress who did tons of TV, as well as movies
including Nine To Five, John And Mary, and Oh, God! Book II.
[COD: Complications of Alzheimer's disease.]
WILLIAM CAMPBELL - April 28
Actor in Dementia 13.
"OSAMA BIN LADEN" - May 1
LOONEY BIN LAZY
Already Been Laid Out.
Pretty spry for a guy
Who last decade died
(Ya,and just like with the emergency number of 911,
we get this similar American-only joke, too - May 1 - May day! May day!)
[COD: Kidney disease Dec. 2001, then "bullet to head" May 2011.]
[Age(s): 44 and 54.]
JACKIE COOPER - May 3
SADA THOMPSON - May 4
DANA WYNTER - May 5
Hot chick from Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.
HARMON KILLEBREW - May 17
Marvelous Minnesota Twins Hall of Famer who hit 573 home runs.
JEFF JONES - May 19
Artist perhaps best known for his inkwork strip Idyll,
published during the 1970s by National Lampoon magazine.
Also a fantastic painter, and subject of an upcoming documentary.
[COD: Emphysema and bronchitis.]
RANDY "MACHO MAN" SAVAGE - May 20
"STEP INTO A CO-FFIN!"
(Must have heard about Jeff Jones the day before.)
Savage was the wrestler/pitchman on many Slim Jim commercials.
Not so dang macho now, are ya, big talker?
He went one day before May 21 - the latest fundie fake "rapture" date.
Guess he wanted to go early to get a good seat, huh?
[COD: Heart attack after crashing pickup into tree, or vice versa.]
GIL SCOTT-HERON - May 27
GIT! SCOOT! TO HEAVEN.
JEFF CONAWAY - May 27
(Same day as Gil Scott-Heron.)
Hard drugs? Bobby! What the heck were ya thinkin'?
JAMES ARNESS - June 3
(Relaxing with the Gunsmoke cast in 1960.)
Chester, Kitty and Doc: "Shore took ya a
might long time ta join us, Marshall Dillon!"
CLARENCE CLEMONS - June 18
HORN JAM SESSION WITH
GABRIEL OFFICIALLY ON.
Blew sax for the E Street Band
and Bruce what's-his-name.
PETER FALK - June 23
Lost his mind in 2008.
Alzheimers - the mental mystery
that even Columbo couldn't solve.
BETTY FORD - July 8
PUT ON A CLINIC.
Don't forget that before she made that booze rehab joint,
she was one heck of a boozer, first.
SHERWOOD SCHWARTZ - July 12
COMEDY'S CHAIRMAN OF CHEESE.
Created both Gilligan's Island and the Brady Bunch.
He was to sitcoms what Aaron Spelling was to night-time soaps.
GOOGIE WITHERS - July 16
SHE WITHERED, ALRIGHT.
Another old-time actress
croaks on the mattress.
RYAN DUNN - July 20
Co-starred in the TV series Jackass, as well as three movies based on the series. His passenger also died - Jackass status confirmed.
[C.O.D.: Drunk driving crash. Age: 34.]
AMY WINEHOUSE - July 23
AND CIGARETTEHOUSE, AND DRUGHOUSE...
And so Satan's evil elixirs once again claim another gullible victim.
[COD: Illegal substance abuse.]
G.D. SPRADLIN - July 24
(Day after Amy Winehouse.)
Country western-accented guy,
whose many film appearances included:
The Long Kiss Goodnight
Nick Of Time
The War Of The Roses
The Lords Of Discipline
North Dallas Forty
The Godfather: Part II
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Hell's Angels '69
BUBBA SMITH - August 3
"He's a dead boy, my Bubba!"
All star pro football player who also multi-guested in many TV series (including Good Times, Open All Night, Blue Thunder), and films including Stroker Ace, and Police Academy 3, 4, 5 and 6.
[C.O.D.: Heart attack. Age: 47.]
NICK ASHFORD - August 22
That cool musician dude who was in Ashford and Simpson.
Hits he wrote and performed included "Your Precious Love," "Solid," "I'm Every Woman," "Ain't Nothin' Like The Real Thing," "Your Precious Love," and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
[C.O.D.: Throat cancer. Age: 69.]
JERRY LEIBER - August 22
(Leiber at left, some guy at center, Stoller at right.)
(Same day as fellow musical guy Nick Ashford.)
Leiber and his songwriting partner Mike Stoller met in Los Angeles when they were 17, and worked together from then on. Their collaboration was detailed in their 2009 memoir Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography. Leiber wrote the lyrics and partner Stoller wrote music for numerous songs for Elvis Presley including:
"(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care" / "Bossa Nova Baby" / "Dirty, Dirty Feeling" / "Don't" / "Fools Fall in Love" / "Girls! Girls! Girls!" / "Hot Dog" / "Hound Dog" / "I Want to Be Free" / "If You Don't Come Back" / "Jailhouse Rock" / "Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello" / "King Creole" / "Little Egypt" / "Love Me" / "Loving You" / "Santa Claus is Back in Town" / "Saved" / "She's Not You" (with Doc Pomus) / "Steadfast, Loyal, and True" / "Three Corn Patches" / "Treat Me Nice" / "Trouble" / "You're the Boss."
MICHAEL SHOWERS - August 25
TOOK A SHOWER FOR REAL IN THE OL' MIGHTY MISS.
Films included Traffic, Mad Money, Soul Men,
I Love You Phllip Morris, and Tekken.
[C.O.D.: Possible suicide, due to depression after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis just five months earlier. Official cause yet to be determined, after his body was found floating in the Mississippi river near New Orleans for two days. Important note: the character played by his fellow cast member John Goodman in the TV series Treme (2010) also died in the Mississippi river, in a presumed suicide.
CLIFF ROBERTSON - September 10
Mainly known for PT-109, Charly,
The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid,
and as the beloved Uncle Ben in the
Sam Raimi-directed Spider-man films.
Dropped dead the very next day after turning 88.
As always, this fine actor showed great timing!
ANDY WHITFIELD - September 11
(Must have heard about Cliff Robertson the day before.)
Star of the TV series Spartacus: Blood and Sand,
as well as the films The Clinic, and Gabriel.
A very talented guy, cut down far too soon.
[C.O.D.: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Age: 39.]
JOHN CALLEY - September 13
CALLEY TAKING NO MORE CALLS.
Top flight producer of many fine films, which included:
The Jane Austen Book Club
Angels & Demons
The Da Vinci Code
The Remains Of The Day
Postcards From The Edge
Fat Man And Little Boy
Ice Station Zebra
Don't Make Waves
The Cincinnati Kid
The Loved One
The Americanization Of Emily
STEVE JOBS - October 5
OUT OF A JOBS.
Uploaded too many high prices, downloaded too much bad karma.
[C.O.D.: Ran out of his supply of brand new iLivers.]
AL DAVIS - October 8
(STRAIGHT TO HELL.)
Now maybe most of those idiot gang wannabes will finally
stop wearing the gay pirate icon of that stupid loser team.
ROGER WILLIAMS - October 8
ANOTHER ROGER, OVER AND OUT.
(Same day as Al Davis.)
Tickle tinkle, little piano star
Your autumn leaves wrinkled
And drifted way too far
MUAMMAR KADDAFI - October 20
"Give me just one good reason why I
can't keep on dressing like Michael Jackson!"
Reason #1: Because just like Jackson, you're dead, too, Kaddafi Duck.
[C.O.D.: Lead poisoning.]
ANDY ROONEY - November 5
(NO RELATION TO MICKEY.)
Dontcha just hate it when you live twice
as long as anyone ever wanted you to?
JOE FRAZIER - November 7
SMOKIN' JOE HAD TO GO.
Boxer Ali's old sparring partner takes the final dive.
BIL KEANE - November 8
(Must have heard about Joe Frazier the day before.)
Artist/creator of the long-running Family Circle one-panel comic strip.
(It's always a huge insult when dead artists' kids take
over the strip - and it doesn't look even a little bit different.)
HEAVY D - November 8
MAKE THAT HEAVY DEAD .
(Another rap-crapper rube down, a few more to go.)
WALT HAZZARD - November 18
WE'D CALL THIS A HAZZARD, ALRIGHT.
Big basketball star back in the day.
Better cancel that 70th birthday party.
KEN RUSSELL - November 27
ANOTHER DIRECTOR TAKEN BY THE BONE COLLECTOR.
Kooky European auteur Russell loses tussle with the Grim Reaper.
DOBIE GRAY - December 6
DOBIE? MAKE THAT DEADY.
Insert tired "Drift Away" tune one-shot wonder gag here.
HARRY MORGAN - December 7
DECEMBER BRIDE, PETE AND GLADYS, DRAGNET, M*A*S*H*.
Happy Pearl Harbor Day - you're dead!
JOE SIMON - December 14
HOPE YOU LIKED THE FILM, JOE.
Co-creator with Jack Kirby of Captain America
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS - December 15
HOLY SMOKES, CHURL BOY CHOKES.
Atheist to ashes, doubter to dust.
(Age: 62. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
KIM JONG IL - December 18
PSYCHO DICTATOR WITH A GIRL'S NAME.
IL? We didn't even know he was sick!
He was gonna press the nuke button,
but now he's just chewin' hell muttin.
(Yes, sometimes we actually win one.)
= 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! =