JUANITA MOORE - January 1
Performer nominated for a Best Actress Oscar and
Golden Globe award for the remake of Imitation Of Life.
Happy New Year - you're dead!
PHIL EVERLY - January 3
Bye Bye, Life.
One half of the famous 1950s
Everly Brothers singing duo.
ALICIA RHETT - January 3
(Same day as Phil Everly.)
Spent most of her life as a portrait artist, but is mostly known
for playing India Wilkes in Gone with the Wind.
(But didja get it that her real name was Rhett, as in the
fake name Rhett Butler, from the same film she was in? Wow!)
CARMEN ZAPATA - January 5
Excellent and prolific character actress
who appeared in literally over 100
TV shows (like Married With Children)
and movies (like Sister Act). So many
that even a partial list would take too much
space here, so look her up on the IMDB.
RUTH ROBINSON DUCCINI - January 16
Last surviving actress to play a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz,
she also appeared in Under the Rainbow.
(How did she miss Terror Of Tinytown?)
RUSSELL JOHNSON - January 16
(Same day as Ruth Robinson Duccini.)
Played the Professor on
the Gilligan's Island TV show.
DAVE MADDEN - January 16
(Same day as Ruth Robinson Duccini and Russell Johnson.)
This likable guy played band manager
Ruben Kincaide for the four seasons
of the Partridge Family TV show.
(No relation to coach John Madden.)
PETE SEEGER - January 27
Pioneering folk singer.
Founded a band called The Weavers.
A music scene contemporary of both
Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan.
ARTHUR RANKIN - January 30
With Jules Bass, he produced classic stop-action animations including
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Last Unicorn, and The Hobbit.
MAXIMILIAN SCHELL - February 1
European actor dude.
The Brothers Bloom
Wiseguy (TV Series)
The Black Hole
A Bridge Too Far
Cross Of Iron
The Odessa File
Krakatoa: East Of Java
The Condemned Of Altona
Judgment At Nuremberg
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN - February 2
(Day after Maximilian Schell.)
Happy Groundhog Day - you're dead!
Yet another actor who couldn't
shake the drugs of the devil.
He still managed to do some cool films:
The Hunger Games
The Invention Of Lying
Charlie Wilson's War
Mission: Impossible III
Empire Falls (TVM)
Along Came Polly
State And Main
The Big Lebowski
Money For Nothing
My Boyfriend's Back
Happy Groundhog Day - you're dead!
(Age: 46. C.O.D.: Heroin overdose.)
GLORIA LEONARD - February 3
(Day after Philip Seymour Hoffman.)
Early 1980s adult film actress (back when those things actually had plots). She later also published the soft core mens magazine High Society.
(Age: 73. C.O.D.: Complications from a stroke.)
SHIRLEY TEMPLE - February 10
Super talented child - and later teen - actress.
Earned a special Oscar when she won
the Academy's Juvenile Award in 1935.
She later also became a diplomat, as Ambassador to
Ghana (1974–1976) and Czechoslovakia (1989–1992).
(Age: 85. C.O.D.: Natural causes.)
SID CAESAR - February 12
Hilarious Emmy-winning comedian and actor
in TV and movies, notably
Your Show of Shows, Grease,
and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
(Age: 91. C.O.D.: Natural causes.)
RALPH WAITE - February 13
Goodnight, John boy's dad.
(Day after Sid Caesar.)
Actor in The Waltons, Roots, and Cliffhanger.
(Age: 85. C.O.D.: Natural causes.)
JIM FREGOSI - February 14
(Day after Ralph Waite.)
Popular 1960s baseball player (California Angels)
and manager (Philadelphia Phillies).
Happy Valentine's Day - you're dead!
(Age: 71. C.O.D.: Complications from a stroke.)
JOHN HENSON - February 14
(Same day as Jim Fregosi.)
American puppeteer (The Muppets, Sweetums),
son of Muppets creator Jim Henson.
No connection to John "Skunk Boy" Henson from Talk Soup.
Happy Valentine's Day - you're also dead!
(Age: 48. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
MARY GRACE CANFIELD - February 15
(Day after Jim Fregosi and John Henson.)
Actress on Green Acres, Bewitched, and General Hospital.
(Age: 89. C.O.D.: Lung cancer.)
JAMIE COOTS - February 15
(Same day as Mary Grace Canfield.)
At last, 100% conclusive proof that
all gods hate goofy snake-handling cults.
Yes, he was one of those kooky "pastors"
handling deadly snakes during their services.
He always hated the film Cobra -
knowing it would be his worst nightmare.
Thanks to the whole snake thing,
he never lived to be a really old coot.
Wow, sometimes those weekly church meetings really bite!
(Age: 41. C.O.D.: Snakebite. Duh!)
GARRICK UTLEY - February 20
NBC newscaster for many years, later worked for ABC
and co-anchored 9/11 coverage for CNN.
Fluent in four languages, he later taught journalism.
HAROLD RAMIS - February 24
Egon? Yep, he gone!
(Just 3 weeks after Groundhog Day.)
Under-rated comedy movie actor who
co-wrote and co-starred in Ghostbusters.
He was also a fine director of
about a dozen films, including:
The Ice Harvest
Stuart Saves His Family
(Age: 69. C.O.D.: Vasculitis. Huh?)
JIM LANGE - February 25
(Day after Harold Ramis.)
Mainly known as the host of The Dating Game in the '60s.
GEOFF EDWARDS - March 5
He never did learn how to spell the name Jeff.
But he was a brilliant radio disc jockey, who also hosted
dozens of cheesy TV game shows over the years.
Plus he teamed up with the lovely Meredith MacRae
(former Petticoat Junction star) on Mid Morning L.A.,
a very pleasant local TV talk show.
His voice went out on him awhile back,
so when he later hosted the California
Lotto show (The Big Spin), we never knew
what the heck the guy was rasping about.
(Age: 83. C.O.D.: Pneumonia.)
SHEILA MACRAE - March 6
(Day after Geoff Edwards.)
Former wife of actor and singer Gordon MacRae,
and mother of the afore-mentioned TV actress Meredith MacRae,
she played the second Alice Kramden when The Honeymooners
TV show (AKA The New Honeymooners) returned in color during the 1960s.
Her co-star in that - Jane Keene, also died a little while back. (November 26, 2013.)
JOE MCGINNISS - March 10
Controversial author who wrote several popular books,
including The Selling Of The President, Fatal Vision, and The Last Brother.
DAVID BRENNER - March 15
Well-loved standup comic who also frequented many
TV talk and variety shows, and served several times
as guest host on The Tonight Show during the Johnny Carson era.
FRED PHELPS - March 19
Noted "anti-gay rights activist."
And yes, he was also another so-called "pastor"
whose time is thankfully passed.
Ever notice how these nut cases
usually hide behind either a flag, a bible or both?
It never works for them, though -
they just look even more like the idiots they are.
(Age: 84. C.O.D.: Hatred.)
JAMES REBHORN - March 21
Actor in the TV series Homeland. Also did some solid movie work:
Head of State
Meet the Parents
My Fellow Americans
My Cousin Vinny
(Age: 65. C.O.D.: Skin cancer.)
MARY ANDERSON - April 6
Actress who co-starred in Lifeboat and played
Maybelle Merriweather in Gone With The Wind.
(That's the second "Winder" for this year.)
JOHN PINETTE - April 6
(Same day as Mary Anderson.)
Should you have dropped so
dang much weight so soon, John?
We say, "Nay! Nay!"
Hit the big 5-oh, and it hit him back.
(He also hit more than a few burgers.)
Stand-up comic for 25 years.
(Age: 50. C.O.D.: Yo-yoing weight problems.)
MICKEY ROONEY - April 6
(Same day as Mary Anderson and John Pinette.)
"Sorry I took so long getting up
here in heaven with you, Judy!"
Life is short, but Mickey was always shorter.
By far the biggest box office star in the world -
if this was still 1944, instead of 2014.
(Age: 93. C.O.D.: Too many late nights in that drafty old museum!)
RUBIN "HURRICANE" CARTER - April 20
Finally ran out of wind.
The subject of both a Dylan tune and a Denzel film.
(Put on your Google Goggles to look him up -
it's a long story, but an interesting one.)
BOB HOSKINS - April 30
There go all those rumors about Roger Rabbit 2.
Brit actor who strangely did not die
of Hoskins Disease, much to our confusion.
EFREM ZIMBALIST - May 2
Did a few flicks, but was mainly known
for his TV starring roles of 77 Sunset Strip,
and the FBI. But our favorite stuff of his
had to be his earlier appearances on the TV
western Maverick, when he played this slimy
con man guy with a really bad British accent.
Was also the dad of actress Stephanie Zimbalist.
DICK AYERS - May 4
Artist best known as one of Jack Kirby's finest inkers at Marvel Comics
from the late 1950s to the late 1960s during the Silver Age of comics.
His work includes some of the earliest issues of The Fantastic Four,
and he was the signature penciler of Marvel's World War II
comic Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos.
JERRY VALE - May 18
Very personable singer featured in films
like Goodfellas, Casino and The Sopranos.
GORDON WILLIS - May 18
(Same day as Jerry Vale.)
Cinematographer of The Godfather,
Annie Hall, Manhattan and many
other filmic masterpieces.
MONA FREEMAN - May 23
Now she can stop moaning - she's a free woman.
Actress in A level movies like The Heiress, plus tons of B movies.
MAYA ANGELOU - May 28
The angel has flown the celestial coop.
Poet person, rymin' and versin'.
MARTHA HYER - May 31
Actress in films including Sabrina,
and Some Came Running.
ANN B. DAVIS - June 1
Character actress who won two Emmys playing
Schultzy on The Bob Cummings Show, but better
known as housekeeper Alice on The Brady Bunch.
(Age: 88. C.O.D.: Head injury due to a fall.)
RUBY DEE - June 11
Marvelous actress in many films, most often paired in
peoples minds with her husband the actor Ossie Davis.
CASEY KASEM - June 15
in case you were wondering,
in this particular case,
casing the joint
in a 6-foot-long case.
Veteran radio disc jockey
and voice over actor.
"Where were you... at 82?
I don't know, but as for myself,
I'm gonna go with 'completely dead'!"
ELI WALLACH - June 24
Old school method actor in lots of modern classic films, including:
The Godfather: Part III
The Two Jakes
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
How The West Was Won
The Magnificent Seven
MESHACH TAYLOR - June 28
Co-starred as a regular on the TV shows
Designing Women, and Dave.
Was also featured in both Mannequin movies.
Beyond his various strong acting talents,
he also projected a very genial and pleasant
personality, which cannot be faked,
and is very rarely found in Hollywood.
(Age: 67. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
BOB HASTINGS - June 30
Did tons of mainly TV work, including Sergeant Bilko,
McHales Navy, and General Hospital. Was also one
of those rare Hollywood veterans known as a
super-nice guy who quickly became one of the
most well-liked people in the biz.
PAUL MAZURSKY - July 1
(Day after Bob Hastings.)
Film writer and director. Wrote Taxi Driver.
TOMMY RAMONE - July 11
Formed in 1974, The Ramones became a band whose members each adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname "Ramone," although none of them were related. As of today, all of the band's original four members are dead. They were: lead singer Joey Ramone (1951–2001), bassist Dee Dee Ramone (1952–2002), guitarist Johnny Ramone (1948–2004), and drummer Tommy Ramone (1949–2014).
JOHNNY WINTER - July 16
One of the Top 5 greatest rock guitarists of all time.
ELAINE STRITCH - July 17
(Photo by Allan Warren.)
(Day after Johnny Winter.)
Stage and film singer and actress.
Films included The Perfect Furlough,
Cocoon: The Return, Out To Sea,
Screwed, and Monster In Law.
JAMES GARNER - July 19
Popular movie actor who also starred on TV
in Maverick, Nichols, and The Rockford Files.
ROBERT HALMI SR. - July 30
Executive producer of a vast variety
of many delightful films, ranging
from fantasy to topical, including:
Journey to the Center of the Earth (TV Movie) (2008)
Tin Man (TV Mini-Series) (2007)
The Land of Oz (TV Movie) (2000)
The 10th Kingdom (TV Mini-Series) (2000)
Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's Poor (1997)
The Odyssey (TV Series) (1997)
Jake's Women (TV Movie) (1996)
The Josephine Baker Story (TV Movie) (1991)
Alone in the Neon Jungle (TV Movie) (1988)
Mayflower Madam (TV Movie) (1987)
Izzy & Moe (TV Movie) (1985)
ED NELSON - August 9
Talented character actor who did lots
of TV shows (notably Peyton Place),
as well as cult favorite B movies, including
Soldier In The Rain, and Roger Corman
classics like The Cry Baby Killer,
A Bucket Of Blood, Teenage Cave Man,
and Attack Of The Crab Monsters.
He was also in The Brain Eaters,
and The Devil's Partner.
ROBIN WILLIAMS - August 11
Mork Goes Back To Ork.
Starred mainly in comedy films, including:
Night At The Museum (trilogy)
Man Of The Year
Death To Smoochy
Good Will Hunting
The Fisher King
Dead Poets Society
Good Morning, Vietnam
Moscow On The Hudson
The World According To Garp
(Age: 63. C.O.D.: Suicide by hanging.)
LAUREN BACALL - August 12
'Bye 'Bye, Betty.
(Day after Robin Williams.)
Actress and former wife of Humphrey Bogart.
Featured in many melodramas, including:
Trouble Is My Business
All I Want For Christmas
Murder On The Orient Express
Applause (TV Movie)
Sex And The Single Girl
How To Marry A Millionaire
Young Man With A Horn
The Big Sleep
To Have And Have Not
DON PARDO - August 18
Tell Don what he's won, Saint Peter!
TV game show announcer for many
classics, including The Price Is Right,
Jackpot, Three On A Match, and Jeopardy.
He also announced for the TV comedy/variety
series Saturday Night Live for almost 40 years.
RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH - August 24
Actor, producer and director.
Directed films including A Bridge Too Far,
Shadowlands, Magic, Ghandi, and A Chorus Line.
ANDREW MCLAGLEN - August 30
The son of Oscar-winning
actor Victor McLaglen, this
director did many TV shows,
mostly Gunsmoke, and
Have Gun - Will Travel.
And also did lots of films, including:
Man in the Vault (1956)
The Ballad of Josie (1967)
The Way West (1967)
The Devil's Brigade (1968)
The Hellfighters (1968)
The Undefeated (1969)
Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973)
The Shadow Riders - TV movie (1982)
JOAN RIVERS - September 4
"Cwan wee twawk?"
Not without that annoying Bronx honk, she couldn't.
Joanie went up the river for betraying her mentor
Johnny Carson for a few extra pieces of silver.
No wonder her hubby "Edgah" bumped himself off
right after her flop Fox talk show bombed.
RICHARD KIEL - September 10
Somehow he's just lost his bite, lately.
Huge dude best known to movie-goers as Jaws,
one of the deadliest foes James Bond ever met.
Over 7 feet tall, he appeared in two Bond flicks -
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).
FRANK TORRE - September 13
Baseball-playing brother of baseball player Joe Torre.
Seems that the Torre family really, really, liked baseball.
POLLY BERGEN - September 20
No relation to Edgar or Candy.
Character actress in film, TV series and game shows.
SARAH GOLDBERG - September 27
She just started in the 1st Heaven.
Best known for her role in TV's 7th Heaven. She portrayed Sarah Glass Camden, a Jewish medical student who falls in love with the son of a Christian minister. Goldberg also appeared in other notable films and TV series, including Training Day, Jurassic Park III, House and Judging Amy.
(Age: 40. C.O.D: Heart condition.)
JAN HOOKS - October 9
Comedy actress who was a regular 1980s
cast member of Saturday Night Live.
Also later played in a few films and did recurring parts in
Designing Women, and 3rd Rock From The Sun.
(Age: 57. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
ELIZABETH PENA - October 14
Character actress who played the mom in the film La Bamba,
and someone else's mom in the TV series Modern Family.
(Age: 55. C.O.D.: Acute poisoning due to years of alcohol abuse.)
BEN BRADLEE - October 21
Editor and guiding light of the Washington Post newspaper
when Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein wrote the articles
on the early 1970s Watergate scandal, which later became
the award-winning book and movie All The President's Men.
MARCIA STRASSMAN - October 24
Welcome to Heaven, Mrs. Kotter.
Played the wife on the four season long TV series Welcome Back, Kotter.
In the '80s played the wife in the films Honey, I Shrunk The Kids,
and Honey, I Blew Up The Kids. Played lotsa wives and girlfriends.
No strong female roles, just a pleasant face to come home to.
Which, all things considered, wasn't really such a bad thing to be.
(Age: 66. C.O.D.: Breast cancer.)
JACK BRUCE - October 25
(Day after Marcia Strassman.)
One of the Top 5 best rock bass players ever,
Bruce appeared in several groups, including
John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and Manfred Mann.
Then he teamed up with drummer Ginger Baker
and guitarist Eric Clapton to form Cream, which
sold 35 million albums in a little over two years.
Their musical masterpiece ‘Wheels of Fire’ earned
the first ever Platinum album. Although most people
thought Eric Clapton was Cream’s front-man,
he didn't get heavily into songwriting and vocals until
the mid-1970s. So during the Cream era of the late '60s,
it was mainly Bruce who wrote and sang most of their songs.
DICK SCHAAL - November 4
This former husband of Valerie Harper
(1964-1978) guest-starred on many
TV comedy shows, like the Bob Newhart Show,
The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and two of its
spinoffs - Phyllis, and Rhoda (with Harper).
Richard "Dick" Schaal also did
some decent film work, such as:
The Russians Are Coming (1966)
Slaughterhouse Five (1972)
The Hollywood Knights (1980)
Once Bitten (1985)
ALVIN DARK - November 13
Played on several major league baseball teams,
but became more known for later managing several teams.
GLEN A. LARSON - November 14
(Day after Alvin Dark.)
Brilliant and visionary producer and writer
who created many classic action TV shows,
including Battlestar Galactica, Quincy M.E.,
Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, and Magnum P.I.
MIKE NICHOLS - November 19
Talented writer, comedian and
director, whose films included:
Charlie Wilson's War (2004)
What Planet Are You From? (2000)
Primary Colors (1998)
The Birdcage (1996)
Regarding Henry (1991)
Postcards From The Edge (1990)
Working Girl (1988)
Biloxi Blues (1988)
Carnal Knowledge (1971)
The Graduate (1967)
Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
(Age: 83. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
BOBBY KEYS - December 2
Sax player for over 40 years, most notably
for The Rolling Stones rock band, in which
he worked on both studio albums and world tours.
Wow, that's enough to drive one to drink.
(Age: 70. C.O.D.: Cirrhosis of the liver.)
KEN WEATHERWAX - December 7
Played Pugsly on The Addams Family 1960s TV comedy series.
Ken was related to Lassie trainer Rudd Weatherwax.
He was the son of Rudd's brother Mac, and therefore
cousins with Rudd's son Bob and grandson Robert.
And if you thought "Porky" and "Pugsley" on that show
looked a little bit alike, there's a good reason for that.
Joey Vieira and Ken Weatherwax were half brothers.
Anyway, getting back to Pugsly's passing,
Happy Pearl Harbor Day - you're dead!
(Age: 59. C.O.D.: Fat Jack heart attack.)
MARY ANN MOBLEY - December 9
Was Miss America in 1958.
Also acted in two movies with Elvis presley:
Girl Happy and Harum Scarum.
(Age: 77. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
JOE COCKER - December 22
"Reaper came in through the bathroom window..."
Mad dog singer of blues, rock, soul, etc.
You name it, he could claim it.
(Age: 70. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
JOSEPH SARGENT - December 22
Photo by Thomas J. Kravitz, Los Angeles Times
(Same day as Joe Cocker.)
Film director who became one of the
greatest TV series directors of all time.
His stuff includes:
Warm Springs (TV Movie) 2005
Streets of Laredo (TV Mini-Series) (3 episodes) 1999
Miss Evers' Boys (TV Movie) 1997
World War II: When Lions Roared (TV Movie) 1994
Jaws: The Revenge 1987
Terrible Joe Moran (TV Movie) 1984
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three 1974
White Lightning 1973
Longstreet (Pilot Episode, TV Series) 1971
Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring (TV Movie) 1971
(Age: 89. C.O.D.: Heart Disease.)
RHODES REASON - December 26
(Older brother of Roaring 20s TV star Rex Reason.)
This actor did a few movies, but is more known for his
TV series work, including the starring role in White Hunter.
Here are some other roles he hunted for and captured:
A Sensitive, Passionate Man (TV Movie) 1977
Cat Murkil And The Silks 1976
Happy Anniversary And Goodbye (TV Movie) 1974
Prudence And The Chief (TV Movie) 1970
The Delta Factor 1970
King Kong Escapes 1967
Yellowstone Kelly 1959
Voodoo Island 1957
White Hunter (TV Series) 1959
Sea Divers (TV Movie - from 1956 pilot) 1958
The Farmer From Monticello (TV Movie) 1955
Happy Day after Christmas (Boxing Day) - you're dead!
LUISE RAINER - December 30
Al Vitazane finally sends his regards.
This consecutive double Oscar-winning
German-born actress starred in films including:
The Great Waltz 1938
The Good Earth 1937
The Great Ziegfeld 1936
(Age: 104. C.O.D.: Some not so great or good pneumonia.)
EDWARD HERRMANN - December 31
(The day after Luise Rainer.)
For your 411, he'll always be our fave FDR.
Delightful actor in TV and films, including:
Gilmore Girls (TV Series) 2000-2007
Wedding Daze 2006
Here Come the Munsters (TV Movie) 1995
Richie Rich 1994
My Boyfriend's Back 1983
Big Business 1988
The Lost Boys 1987
Murrow (TV Movie) 1986
The Purple Rose of Cairo 1985
The North Avenue Irregulars 1979
Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (TV Movie) 1977
Eleanor and Franklin (TV Movie) 1976
Happy New Year's Eve - you're dead!
(Age: 71. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
= WELL, THAT'S ALL FOR THIS YEAR, FOLKS!
BUT STAY TUNED - THE GRIM REAPER
AIN'T DONE WITH THOSE CELEBS YET!
MEANWHILE, AT THE UPPER RIGHT, CHECK OUT
THE LIST OF LATE LAMENTED LAYABOUTS
FROM PAST YEARS! ENJOY! =