PATTI PAGE - January 1
How Much Is That Dead Body In The Window?
It's Time To Turn The Page.
Certainly answers who the first famous cold one of 2013 will be.
Our little Patti cakes was a popular 1950s singer,
whose cutsie chart-toppers included The Tennessee Waltz
(played in the above video), and answering the musical question
How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?) Anyway...
Happy New Year - you're dead!
HUELL HOWSER - January 7
Always delightful local TV travelogue
and community history host.
(Age: 67 COD: Prostate cancer.)
CONRAD BAIN - January 14
Actor on stage (20 years), then on TV with
Maude (6 years) and Different Strokes (9 years).
That's a whole lotta virtually non-stop acting. Just sayin'.
DEAR ABBY - January 16
Dear Abby, drop dead!
- Frustrated in Flushing
(AKA Pauline Phillips.)
Well, the Phillips twins had a good run
(Pauline's sister Ann was "Ann Landers."),
for gals who were both just handed columns without
doing any real news reporting or feature writing first.
Now some idiot cartoonist will scribble the usual generic
"pearly gates" masterpiece, showing Abby meeting Ann in
Heaven, with predictable dialogue like, "What TOOK you, sis?"
STAN MUSIAL - January 19
A Great From The Gashouse Gang.
"Stan The Man" Musial won seven National League batting titles,
was a three-time MVP, and helped the St. Louis Cardinals
capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.
He spent his entire 22-year career with the Cards,
and ended up hitting 475 homeruns.
EARL WEAVER - January 19
You Always Lose On A Death Cruise.
(Same day as Stan Musial.)
"Earl The Churl" Weaver did two tours as a
Baltimore Orioles manager, totaling 17 seasons,
winning four American League pennants and a World Series.
During an Orioles-sponsored cruise, he suddenly collapsed and died.
(In his playing days before managing,
he was also with the Cardinals, just like Musial.)
The bird is the word, and those birds are finally done with him.
MICHAEL WINNER - January 21
And the Winner is... no more.
A good action movie director,
he made the following faves:
Death Wish 2
Death Wish 3
Appointment With Death
The Wicked Lady
The Stone Killer
Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood
PATTY ANDREWS - January 30
Boogie-Woogie Basket Ghouls.
Patty (center) was the last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters
singing trio, who saw their greatest fame during World War II, before
America started fighting wars mainly for gun-running and oil-hoarding.
Her other sisters were Laverne and... some other chick. (Not Shirley.)
JOHN KERR - February 2
Actor in South Pacific.
MALINDA MCCREADY - February 17
Apparently, she wasn't ready.
Yet another drug and booze-guzzling country singer suicide.
Happy 3 days after Valentine's Day - you're dead!
DALE ROBERTSON - February 26
Among many other productions, this talented western actor also
starred in the hit TV series Tales Of Wells Fargo from 1957-1962.
VAN CLIBURN - February 27
(Must have heard about Dale Robertson the day before.)
And may you von cli-burn in hell!
Just trying to insert some drama into an otherwise
really boring item about some glorified ivory-tickler.
BONNIE FRANKLIN - March 1
One Grave At A Time.
Franklin, my dear, I don't give a Bon.
Although you were a cross-eyed icon of the '70s,
somehow you still never actually lived to be 70.
Wow, pretty ironic, huh, Miz Romano?
ALVIN LEE - March 6
Created a sensation at the already sensational 1970 live music concert
Woodstock, while leading the blues-rock group Ten Years After.
He was also nick-named "the fastest guitar in the west."
And rightly so.
MALACHI THRONE - March 13
Actor in TV's It Takes A Thief, and Batman.
HARRY REEMS - March 20
Not anymore, he doesn't.
Another classic porn star bites the big one.
(Okay, pun intended that time.)
(Age: 65. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
MILO O'SHEA - April 2
Star of Ulysses.
ROGER EBERT - April 4
(Left to right: Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.)
Grim Reaper to Ebert: Thumbs down.
Another critic we won't have - to kick films around anymore.
And so until next time, "We'll no longer see HIM at the MOO-VEES!"
Happy 3 days after April Fools Day - you're dead!
(Age: 70. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
ANNETTE FUNICELLO - April 8
She did it Disney style.
Teen star of The Mickey Mouse Club and
grownup star of a buncha beach movies.
In the dark days of the pre-porn era,
she brought more young boys to instant
puberty than anyone on the planet.
(Age: 70. C.O.D.: MS.)
MARGARET THATCHER - April 8
(Same day as Annette Funicello.)
Looks like the "iron lady" was
just made of tin, after all.
Scratch another Brit-twit.
JONATHAN WINTERS - April 11
Gonna miss your weirdness, you hamburger.
Some classics from this kooky cutup comic:
It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming
Mork And Mindy (TV series), Mork And Mindy (TV series)
(Age: 87. C.O.D.: Being the same age as Margaret Freaking Thatcher!)
FRANK BANK - April 13
Lumpy Do Too Much Humpy?
True, he was born on an April 12 and died on an April 13,
so he did manage to keel over just one day after his birthday.
But he had also been born in a hospital corridor during an air raid drill.
This rotund actor brilliantly portrayed Lumpy Rutherford
on the classic TV comedy series Leave It To Beaver
during the late 1950s, but his life was more interesting than most
people ever imagined - at least that's what he'd have had us believe.
Typecast by the show - as one of the sidekicks of Beaver's brother
Wally Cleaver - he was virtually forced out of showbiz and into TV
nostalgia conventions, but he wasn't done yet.
Years after compiling anecdotes on his private life, he published
a notorious memoir in 1997 entitled Call Me Lumpy, wherein he
described his experiences during the 1960s as being one long
"perpetual sexfest." In relation to that, he also bragged that he'd
"slept with over 1,000 women." This is all the more an astounding
feat, since from the early '60s to the late '80s, Bank was also
very married, with kids and everything.
Late lamented Lumpy, we hardly knew ye!
PAT SUMMERALL - April 16
Summer's over, too.
Long-time sports announcer.
RICHIE HAVENS - April 26
Singer, musician and songwriter who starred
at the original 1969 Woodstock music festival
with his amazing anthem Freedom.
(Age: 72. C.O.D.: Heart Attack.)
GEORGE JONES - April 26
(Same day as Richie Havens.)
By George, I think he's plotted!
Long-time country singer.
DEANNA DURBIN - April 28
Popular 1940s singer and movie star,
with that classic girl-next-door look.
CHRIS KELLY - May 1
(Pictured: Kelly (right) and Chris Smith.
AKA Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac - or vise versa.)
Wonder if they buried him backwards?
Member of 1990s backwards-dressing
kid rap duo called Kriss Kross.
(Age: 34. C.O.D.: Dope Overdose.)
JEFF HANNEMANN - May 2
(Must have heard about Chris Kelly the day before.)
Live by the Slayer,
get slayed by the Slayer.
So says the Slayer!
(Just trying to slasher rock things up.)
Guitarist and founder of a little
rock group known as... da Slayer.
(Age: 49. C.O.D.: Liver Failure.)
MARIO MACHADO - May 4
"Me... and mah... sha-dow..." are now gone.
Emmy-winning TV news anchor, journalist and actor
(Scarface, Robo Cop, St. Elmo's Fire).
Happy day before Cinco De Mayo - you're dead!
(Age: 78. C.O.D.: Complications Of Pneumonia.)
RAY HARRYHAUSEN - May 7
The pioneer of stop-action movie making.
As producer or creator of special visual
effects, here are some of his greatest hits:
1981 Clash of the Titans
1977 Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
1973 The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
1969 The Valley of Gwangi
1966 One Million Years B.C.
1964 First Men in the Moon
1963 Jason and the Argonauts
1961 Mysterious Island
1960 The 3 Worlds of Gulliver
1958 The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
1957 20 Million Miles to Earth
1956 Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
1955 It Came from Beneath the Sea
1949 Mighty Joe Young
(Age: 92. C.O.D.: Being Fantastically Old.)
DR. JOYCE BROTHERS - May 13
Brothers, we're really gonna miss ya, sister. Huh?!
Hey, you remember that always pleasant
and entertaining TV pop psychologist?
Well, she just popped off.
BILLIE SOL ESTES - May 14
(Must have heard about Dr. Joyce Brothers the day before.)
Local Bill Makes Bad.
Another Texas tinhorn con-man who thought he discovered
the scam known as crooked real estate all by himself.
RAY MANZAREK - May 20
Say hi to Jim for us, man.
Brilliant keyboard player and songwriter from the
mystical, magical rock group known as The Doors.
JEAN STAPLETON - May 31
Edith Bunker, R.I.P.
Co-star of the TV series All In The Family.
ESTHER WILLIAMS - June 6
She married that nut Fernando "You look mah-velous" Lamas.
But before that, she swam pretty darn straight.
JAMES GANDOLFINI - June 19
Ya, "fini" is right, bub.
Starred in The Sopranos, until it disgraced America
with the rottenest TV series finale of all time. Mama mia!
You know, he never recovered from that, so da boys
don't blame him one bit for keelin' over, capice?
(Age: 51. C.O.D.: Fat Jack Heart Attack.)
SLIM WHITMAN - June 19
(Same day as James Gandolfini.)
Let's see you yoddle your way out of this fix, pardner.
Corny and annoying singing cowboy type,
idolized by folks like comic Andy Kaufman.
BOBBY "BLUE" BLAND - June 23
Bluesman who put a little
extra soul into the mix, baby.
(Age: 83. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
RICHARD MATHESON - June 23
(Same day as Bobby "Blue" Bland.)
Great sci-fi author, who wrote the
original novel I Am Legend, as well as
other books he turned into movies, including:
Real Steel, The Box, What Dreams May Come,
Stir Of Echoes, and The Legend Of Hell House.
(Age: 87. C.O.D.: Supernatural Causes.)
JIM KELLY - June 29
Martial arts icon and actor who co-starred with
Bruce Lee in the classic fight film Enter The Dragon.
(Age: 67. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
CORY MONTEITH - July 13
Now there's no glee in Tinseltown -
mighty Cory has oh-deed.
Was the star of the popular TV show Glee.
He played Lea Michelle's boyfriend.
(Age: 31. C.O.D.: Drug Overdose.)
DENNIS BURKLEY - July 14
(Must have heard about Cory Monteith the day before.)
Very good character actor who usually
ended up playing those big biker types.
We fondly remember him as Mac from
the classic TV series Hot-L Baltimore.
(Age: 67. C.O.D.: Fat Jack Heart Attack.)
DENNIS FARINA - July 22
Great character actor, who often
played very convincing action roles.
Which should be no shock,
because for almost 20 years
he was an actual Chicago cop.
Then he decided to try the
(somewhat) safer world of acting,
and some of his filmic capers include:
Code Of Silence, Midnight Run,
Out Of Sight, Reindeer Games,
and What Happens In Vegas.
(Age: 69. C.O.D.: Blood Clot In Lung.)
EILEEN BRENNAN - July 28
Fine comedic character actress
who co-starred in films including
The Sting, Murder By Death,
The Cheap Detective,
Private Benjamin, Clue,
and The Funny Farm.
(Age: 80. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
KAREN BLACK - August 8
Another cross-eyed cutie gets crossed out.
Among her many movies,
she was in both Easy Rider
and Five Easy Pieces,
but oddly not The Big Easy.
(Age: 74. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
EYDIE GORME - Aug 10
Well, her biggest hit had to be
Blame It On The Bossa Nova.
But we blame this one
on that bossy ol' Grim Reaper.
Of course she also had the
word "die" in her name,
which is never a good idea.
(Age: 84. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
GIA ALLEMAND - August 14
Modeled for Maxim magazine and
appeared on two reality shows:
The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love,
and Bachelor Pad.
Couldn't handle turning the big
three-oh in just four months.
She now joins the famous group known as...
THE CELEBRITY "JUST HANGIN' AROUND" CLUB
Phil Ochs, political folksinger (1976)
Richard Manuel, member of The Band (March 1986)
Tom Evans, member of Badfinger (November 1983)
Ray Combs, 1988 to 1994, Family Feud TV game show host (June 2 1996)
Michael Hutchence, lead singer of INXS (November 1997)
David Strickland, actor, played Todd on Suddenly Susan (March 1999)
Jonathan Brandis, teen actor (November 2003)
(Age: 29 C.O.D.: Hanging)
LISA ROBIN KELLY - August 14
(Same day as Gia Allemand.)
Gifted comedy actress who
played the nympho sister on
the hit TV comedy That '70s Show.
But she just couldn't escape those
twin demons - booze and dope.
Her best movie: Jawbreakers.
(Age: 43. C.O.D.: Acute Drug Toxicity.)
LEE THOMPSON - August 19
Dang - now everyone's gonna be bugging
Caroline In The City star Leah Thompson
about being dead - well, her career is, anyway.
Meanwhile, on the TV crime show Rizzoli & Isles,
this guy played detective Barry Frost.
Now he's a little too frosty.
(Age: 29. C.O.D.: Suicide By Drug Overdose.)
ELMORE LEONARD - August 20
(Must have heard about Lee Thompson the day before.)
Very good western and detective writer,
whose books were sometimes made into movies
like Get Shorty, and Jackie Brown,
as well as TV shows like Justified.
(Age: 87. C.O.D.: Super Old.)
JULIE HARRIS - August 24
Fantastic old school actress,
who did classic films including
East Of Eden, The Haunting,
The Member Of The Wedding,
Requiem For A Heavyweight,
Harper, and The People Next Door.
(Age: 87. C.O.D.: Also Super Old.)
TOM CLANCY - October 1
Wacko who refused to believe the Cold War ended.
Even wrote books and did video games about it.
Sure, he made millions, but can't spend it now.
(Age: 66. C.O.D.: Unknown - also refuses to believe he's dead.)
SCOTT CARPENTER - October 10
Houston, we've got another space stiff.
Whatta dumb name. That "carpenter" guy obviously
shoulda called himself Scott Astronaut instead. Duh!
MARCIA WALLACE - October 25
Hey, Bob - a rerun.
She was on many of those endless
episodes of a Bob Newhart series, but there
were so many of them that we forget which one.
You could usually find her glued behind a desk, though.
LOU REED - October 27
Underground with a velvet-lined coffin.
Now he's really walkin' on the wild side.
(Age: 71. C.O.D.: Bein' so cool that he finally froze, baby.)
JAY LEGGETT - November 23
Hit the big 5-oh, and it hit him back.
Legget never got a leg up to the bigtime.
A comedian who made a film about how
he liked to shoot deers, dropped dead
right in front of a freshly killed deer.
Don't call a medic, call the Darwin Awards.
(Age: 50. C.O.D.: Fat Jack Heart Attack.)
JANE KEAN - November 26
She was best known for playing Ed Norton's wife
Trixie on a 1960s TV revival of The Honeymooners.
In the classic original 1950s series version,
Trixie was portrayed by Joyce Randolph.
TONY MUSANTE - November 26
(Same day as Jane Kean.)
Star of TV's Toma.
PAUL WALKER - November 30
The Slow And The Uncurious.
Hit the big 4-oh, and it hit him back.
Walker didn't walk away from that one.
An actor who made a film series about
stealing cars, he died in a car crash.
Okay, make that TWO calls to the Darwin Awards.
Happy two days after Thanksgiving - you're dead!
(Age: 40. C.O.D.: Car crackup.)
NELSON MANDELA - December 5
Former President of South Africa.
JAMES AVERY - DECEMBER 31
Actor best known for his portrayal of the patriarch and attorney (later judge) Philip Banks, uncle of Will Smith's character on the TV sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
This character was ranked #34 in TV Guide's "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time."
He also provided the voice of Shredder in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series,
as well as War Machine in the animated series Iron Man, and Junkyard Dog in Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling.
He also played Michael Kelso's commanding officer at the police academy late in the series run of That '70s Show.
Happy New Year's Eve - you're dead!
(Age: 68. C.O.D.: Fat Jack heart attack.)
ELEANOR PARKER - December 9
Actress in The Sound Of Music.
AUDREY TOTTER - December 12
Actress in The Postman Always Rings Twice.
TOM LAUGHLIN - December 12
(Same day as Audrey Totter.)
Star of Billy Jack.
PETER O'TOOLE - December 14
Star of Lawrence Of Arabia, Man Of La Mancha, The Lion In Winter, and My Favorite Year.
JOAN FONTAINE - December 15
(Day after Peter O'Toole.)
Actress in Jane Eyre, Rebecca, and Ivanhoe.
RAY PRICE - December 16
(Day after Joan Fontaine.)
Country singer of hits including
You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.
AL GOLDSTEIN - December 19
Legendary editor of the
controversial magazine Screw.
= 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! =