JOHNNY OTIS - January 17
Bandleader and classic oldies radio disc jockey.
ETTA JAMES - January 20
ROBERT HEGYES - January 26
A note from his mom won't save Epstein now, Mr. Kotter.
DON CORNELIUS - February 1
"Sooooooouuulll Traaaaaiiinnn!" Click! Ka-Boom!
Not to sound corny, but the Don (of Soul) is dead.
They've really gotta keep guns away from senior citizens.
(Age: 75. COD: Suicide by shotgun.)
ANGELO DUNDEE - February 1
(Same day as Don Cornelius.)
Yep, Angie's Dee is Dun, alright.
Trained lotsa bigtime boxers, including Ali.
BEN GAZZARA - February 3
Run For Your Death.
(Good job, Benny boy.)
Like Peter Falk, he was a rep company actor
in director John Cassevettes' casting circle.
(Waiting on you next, Seymour Casals and Gena Rowlands.)
WHITNEY HOUSTON - February 11
"I Wanna Buy Some Drugs From Somebody..."
GARY CARTER - February 16
1987 World Series-winning catcher for the New York Mets.
DAVY JONES - February 29
Singer with The Monkees.
EARL SCRUGGS - March 28
His partner Lester was Flatt, and now so is Earl.
THOMAS KINKADE - April 6
"Painter Of Light," meet the dark.
MIKE WALLACE - April 7
(Must have heard about Thomas Kinkade the day before.)
CBS TV newsman, mainly known as a
co-host of the long-running 60 Minutes.
(And he had quite a long run himself.)
DICK CLARK - April 18
"Well, Clark's heart has no beat, so you can't dance to it."
American Bandstand host.
LEVON HELM - April 19
(Must have heard about Dick Clark the day before.)
Drummer for The Band, which once backed Bob Dylan.
(Other dead members so far: Richard Manuel, Rick Danko.
Still alive: Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson.)
VIDAL SASSOON - May 9
"If you don't look dead, we don't look dead." Huh?
That English hair stylist who pretended to be French.
Started selling his overpriced shampoo in the '70s.
Buzz(cut) off, Brit twit.
(Age: 84. C.O.D.: Leukemia.)
DONALD DUCK DUNN - May 13
Great bass player for several bands, including
Booker T & the MGs, and the Blues Brothers.
(No relation to recently deceased Jackass Ryan Dunn.)
RON SHOCK - May 17
Not that much of a shock.
One a' them thar country western standup comics.
(Like that Foxworthy bunch, only a whole lot sharper.)
Got instant street cred by hanging out with Bill Hicks.
(Age: 69. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
DONNA SUMMER - May 17
(Same day as Ron Shock.)
Thank God It's Funeral Day.
Pop and disco singer.
(Age: 63. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
ROBIN GIBB - May 20
Not Stayin' Alive anymore.
This leaves only Barry Gibb as the last surviving Bee Gee.
(Blame the Travolta gay scandal.)
Pop and disco singer.
Certainly not a great month for singers and musicians!
(Age 62. C.O.D.: Not Saturday Night Fever.)
DOC WATSON - May 29
He wasn't a doctor - he only played one onstage.
(Well, actually he only played a guitar.)
RICHARD DAWSON - June 2
"Survey says... DEAD!"
Played Newkirk on the TV series Hogan's Heroes,
and later hosted the game show Family Feud.
RAY BRADBURY - June 5
And the magician told Ray, "Live forever!"
Well, making it to just two months before age
92 in this dimension is almost living forever.
The world's greatest non-living sci-fi writer wrote:
Short stories: “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man,”
and “The Golden Apples of the Sun.”
Novels: “Fahrenheit 451,” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”
FRANK CADY - June 8
Mainly played grocer Sam Drucker on the TV shows
Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies.
Hadta be somethin' mighty good in them there
groceries for him to have lived so dang long!
SUSAN TYRRELL - June 16
Quirky character actress.
Kinda sexy, but kinda scary.
(Was in Cry-Baby, Fat City,
Angel, Forbidden Zone,
Tapeheads, and Big Top Pee-wee).
Farewell, Susie Creamcheese.
(Her real name was Susan Creamer.)
LEROY NEIMAN - June 20
Painter who did all those ugly
squiggly blobby pictures for Playboy.
Maybe it was some kinda modern art? Not!
NORA EPHRON - June 26
Talented writer, director and producer
who ended up making lotsa chick flicks.
ANDY GRIFFITH - July 3
(The day before Independence Day.)
Movies: A Face In The Crowd,
No Time For Sargeants,
and Angel In My Pocket.
TV: Played Sheriff Andy Taylor on
The Andy Griffith Show, and
later starred in Matlock.
ERNEST BORGNINE - July 8
Movies: Won an Oscar for Marty,
and did from Here To Eternity.
TV: McHale's Navy
CELESTE HOLM - July 15
At peace may ye rest,
sweet witty Celeste.
WILLIAM ASHER - July 16
(Must have heard about Celeste Holm the day before.)
Ground-breaking screenwriter and director.
His work included TV like Alice, Bewitched and I Love Lucy,
and various cheesy teen movies. (He was even once
married to hyper hot Bewitched star Liz Montgomery.)
KITTY WELLS - July 16
(Same day as William Asher, and must have also
heard about Celeste Holm the day before.)
This little country singin' kitty
went back to the well once too often.
TOM DAVIS - July 19
With Al Franken, he was the straight
man half of the Saturday Night Live
comedy team Franken and Davis.
ALEXANDER COCKBURN - July 21
Excellent outspoken journalist and columnist, known for
decades of dispatches, including within The Village Voice.
SALLY RIDE - July 23
For this perky ass-tro-nut,
the ride is over.
CHAD EVERETT - July 24
(Must have heard about Sally Ride the day before.)
He wasn't a doctor - he only played one on TV.
Remember Medical Center?
Now even a real doc can't help him.
SHERMAN HEMSLEY - July 24
(Same day as Chad Everett.)
"Movin' on up?"
Dude who played George Jefferson,
you ain't movin' at all, period.
R.G. ARMSTRONG - July 27
One of the better crusty old western character actors.
TONY MARTIN - July 27
(Same day as R.G. Armstrong.)
He was the singer upon which they based the
"mob controlled star" character in The Godfather.
GORE VIDAL - July 31
And so William F. Buckley's old debate
rival finally shuts his over-educated yap.
JUDITH CRIST - August 7
Well, Crist on a cracker!
This movie critic should have
judged not, lest she be judged.
(And now she IS being judged.)
MARVIN HAMLISCH - August 7
(Same day as Jesus Christ - we mean Judith Crist.)
Saw him onstage in 1972 when he was the very
witty piano guy with the live tour of Groucho Marx.
Little Marvy Hammy never topped that.
HELEN GURLEY BROWN - August 13
Publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine.
That's right, guys - SHE'S the one to blame
for all that there wimmin trouble!
From Brown to blue -
girl, how do you do?
JOHNNY PESKY - August 13
(Same day as Helen Gurley Brown.)
Baseball star. Well, it took over 90 years,
but we finally got rid of that pesky Johnny.
RON PALILLO - August 14
(Must have heard about Johnny Pesky the day before.)
Played Horshack on Welcome Back Kotter.
Now just like Epstein, he's dead as an otter.
(Not a good year to be a Sweathog.)
SCOTT MCKENZIE - August 19
With Are You Going To San Francisco, he had a hit.
Then after the 1960s, well... that's pretty much it.
PHYLLIS DILLER - August 20
(Must have heard about Scott McKenzie the day before.)
She was such a silly dilly. And a total pro, dontcha know.
Did they bury her next to Fang? A-hah-hah-hah!
(No relation to showbiz suit Barry Diller.)
NEIL ARMSTRONG - August 25
Officially the first man put on the moon,
for what it's worth -
but not the first goon
put under the earth.
HAL DAVID - September 1
Brilliant 1960s pop tune lyric writer for Burt Bacharack,
whose last name we probably just spelled wrong.
MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN - September 3
That big guy who died in The Green Mile -
only now he did it for real.
SUN MYUNG MOON - September 3
(Same day as Michael Clarke Duncan.)
Hopefully this passing of the king of mass Moonie
weddings won't likewise inspire a mass funeral.
ANDY WILLIAMS - September 26
What? Another moon-related death?
(See soured cream of Some Young Moon.)
HERBERT LOM - September 27
(Must have heard about Andy Williams from the day before.)
He was the Chief Inspector in The Pink Panther movie series.
But few people noticed, since he played opposite Peter Sellers.
ALEX KARRAS - October 10
Former football star, former member of the Monday Night Football
broadcasting team trio with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford,
former co-star on the TV series Webster, and former living guy.
GARY COLLINS - October 13
One of those perennial TV movie-of-the week guys.
Lucky dude married major babe beauty queen Mary Anne Mobley.
ARLEN SPECTER - October 14
(Must have heard about Gary Collins the day before.)
Now we'll always be haunted by this spooky political Specter,
especially those odd plaid shirts this Senator wore -
when he wasn't even Canadian.
SYLVIA KRISTEL - October 18
Euro babe who did some softcore adult material in the '70s and '80s,
most notably some titles in the Emmanuelle film series.
(Internet porn would make all such stuff look pretty tame now.)
Not that it matters, but she could also actually act.
(Age: 60 COD: Cancer.)
GEORGE MCGOVERN - October 21
Ran for prez in '72 against Watergate-cheating crook Tricky Dick Nixon.
Guess who should have won? Duh!
RUSSELL MEANS - October 22
(Must have heard about George McGovern the day before.)
Political activist and early leader of the American Indian Movement,
which benefited many Native-Americans.
LARRY HAGMAN - November 23
(The day after Thanksgiving - Black Friday.)
Co-starred in the TV series I Dream Of Genie,
and also did another show about Texas oil stuff
called Houston or Austin or something like that.
DAVE BRUBECK - December 5
(Died the day before his birthday - that's a first here.)
Take 5? Make that 6... feet under.
JENNI RIVERA - December 9
(Age: 43. C.O.D.: Plane crash.)
RAVI SHANKAR - December 11
(Died the day before 12/12/12.)
Well, this little string plucker won't
be shanking any more ravis for awhile.
CHARLES DURNING - December 24
Great character actor, featured in tons of
TV shows and many fine films, including:
Evening Shade (TV)
O, Brother, Where Art Thou?
One Fine Day
To Be Or Not To Be
The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
North Dallas Forty
Harry And Walter Go To New York
* * * *
Happy Christmas Eve - you're dead!
JACK KLUGMAN - December 24
(Same day as Charles Durning.)
The gruff half of the TV series The Odd Couple.
(Tony Randall played the sensitive second half.)
Klugman also later starred in the medical examiner
TV series Quincy, inspiring all CSI-type procedurals.
* * * *
Happy Christmas Eve - you're also dead!
(That just never gets old - but those celebrity corpses sure do.)
GERRY ANDERSON - December 26
Created the classic 1960s stop action adventure show Thunderbirds,
as well as the live action sci-fi series Space 1999, featuring former
Mission: Impossible stars Martin Landau and Barbara Bain.
* * * *
Happy Day After Christmas - you're dead!
FONTELLA BASS - December 26
(Same day as Gerry Anderson.)
Soul singer best known for the #1 Billboard chart hit Rescue Me.
* * * *
Happy Day After Christmas - you're also dead!
HARRY CAREY JR. - December 27
(Must have heard about Gerry Anderson
and Fontella Bass the day before.)
Classic western film character actor,
most notably alongside John Wayne.
1980 The Long Riders
1973 Cahill U.S. Marshal
1971 Trinity Is Still My Name
1971 Big Jake
1970 Dirty Dingus Magee
1969 The Undefeated
1967 The Way West
1967 The Ballad of Josie
1966 Alvarez Kelly
1961 Two Rode Together
1961 The Great Impostor
1956 The Searchers
1955 Mister Roberts
1953 Island in the Sky
1950 Rio Grande
1949 She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
1948 3 Godfathers
1948 Red River
= 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! =