DONNA DOUGLAS - January 1
"Aw, shucks - even when I'm dead,
I still have a higher IQ than Jethro!"
I'm glad to say
you can now play
with your critters all day.
Hot blonde actress in TV and films, including:
The Return Of The Beverly Hillbillies (TV Movie) 1981
The Beverly Hillbillies (TV Series) 1962-1971
Frankie And Johnny 1966
Twilight Zone (TV Series) 1960-1962
- Cavender Is Coming
- Eye Of The Beholder
Mister Ed (TV Series) 1961-1962
- Clint Eastwood Meets Mister Ed
- Ed The Jumper
- Busy Wife
Happy New Year - you're dead!
(Age: 82. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
"LITTLE" JIMMY PICKENS - January 2
(The day after Donna Douglas.)
He's no longer pickin', since he done started to sicken.
Country music star whose biggest smash hit was
May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.
(Yep, just like Johnny Carson always used to say.
And no, we're not makin' up any of this.
Country music fans really are that goofy.)
(Age: 94. C.O.D.: Heart Attack.)
STUART SCOTT - January 4
ESPN TV anchor.
(Age: 49. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
ROD TAYLOR - January 7
Taylor was only the second Australian actor, after Errol Flynn (who was born in Tasmania), to achieve major Hollywood stardom, though many moviegoers did not know his origins.
He made more than 50 films but played Australians in only a handful. In his most famous roles, he played a Briton and an American. His heroic Time Machine character, an inventor, was known as H. George Wells, for H. G. Wells, the British author of the classic time-travel novel on which the film was based.
In The Birds, Taylor was a California lawyer who offers a ride to a reckless blond heiress (Tippi Hedren) and ends up fighting off gangs of the homicidal title characters.
And it was back to the British accent in his last film. The director Quentin Tarantino coaxed Taylor out of retirement to play Winston Churchill in his 2009 World War II film Inglourious Basterds.
TAYLOR NEGRON - January 10
Not a good year to have the name Taylor.
A veteran character actor and stand-up comedian, he played memorable roles in TV (like the Olsen Twins series So Little Time), and movies including Punchline, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Easy Money, Angels In The Outfield, Stuart Little, and The Last Boy Scout. His motion picture debut was in Young Doctors In Love.
(Age: 57. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
ANITA EKBERG - January 11
(The day after Taylor Negron.)
I needa iceberg!
But obviously, an iceberg she wasn't!
This gorgeous actress was part Italian, part Swedish, and all woman!
Mama mia, that was a spicy Swedish meatball!
Now that we've got that nonsense out of our system...
...her wild and wonderful works onscreen included:
Fangs of the Living Dead 1969
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium 1969
Way... Way Out 1966
4 for Texas 1963
Call Me Bwana 1963
Boccaccio '70 1962
La Dolce Vita 1960
Screaming Mimi 1958
Paris Holiday 1958
Hollywood or Bust 1956
Back from Eternity 1956
War and Peace 1956
Artists and Models 1955
Blood Alley 1955
DON HARRON - January 17
He shore did help put the hee-hee in Hee Haw!
With his comic alter ego Charlie Farquharson, he entertained TV audiences in both Canada and the U.S., since he had mastered the language of both countries. And very early on, he figured out that he was smart enough to make lots of money playing a dumb guy.
(Age: 90. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
ANNE KIRKBRIDE - January 19
Then the perennial bride just died, didn't she?
Kirkbride was a star of the British soap opera Coronation Street for more than 40 years. She played the long-suffering, much-married Deirdre Barlow.
(Age: 60. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
ERNIE BANKS - January 23
Superstar Hall Of Fame baseball player, and the main reason that even many Dodger fans rooted for the Chicago Cubs to win at least one World Series. (BTW, we're still waiting...)
(Age: 83. C.O.D.: Heart Condition.)
JOE FRANKLIN - January 24
(The day after Ernie Banks.)
This elfish gent was a pioneering radio and TV talk show host who worked for 42 years, and never missed a broadcast in decades.
(Age: 88. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
COLLEEN MCCULLOUGH - January 29
Australian author mainly known for writing The Thorn Birds,
a best seller that also became a very popular mini-series.
(Age: 77. C.O.D.: Renal Failure.)
ROD MCKUEN - January 29
(Same day as Colleen McCullough.)
(Also not a good year to have a Mc in one's name.)
He was a poet, singer and songwriter.
Tunes included Jean, and Seasons In The Sun.
Poetry books included Listen To The Warm.
(Age: 81. C.O.D.: Heart Attack.)
LIZABETH SCOTT - January 31
Actress in lots of great cheesy film noirs,
especially her awesome performance in Dead Reckoning.
(She was also a singer.)
CHARLIE SIFFORD - February 3
Pro golfer who broke that sport's color barrier in 1961,
earning him the nickname of "the Jackie Robinson of golf."
BILLY CASPER - February 7
(Also not a good year to have been a golfer.)
Pro golfer who won over 50 PGA tournaments.
JERRY TARKANIAN - February 11
Time to park the Shark in the nearest patch of dark.
(Take that poetry, Rod McKuen!)
Jerry "the shark" Tarkanian was a controversial Hall Of Fame
basketball coach (Long Beach State, UNLV, San Antonio Spurs, Fresno State).
GARY OWENS - February 12
(The day after Jerry Tarkanian.)
"This just in - I'm apparently dead as a doornail."
Beloved television announcer (Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In)
and voice actor (Space Ghost, Garfield And Friends).
(Age: 80. C.O.D.: Diabetes.)
STAN CHAMBERS - February 13
(The day after Gary Owens.)
He was a news anchor for KTLA TV from Dec. 1, 1947
until he retired in 2010 on his 87th birthday.
He must have given lessons in staying power to Joe Franklin.
LOUIS JORDAN - February 14
(The day after Stan Chambers.)
French actor (Letter From An Unknown Woman, Gigi, Octopussy).
Happy Valentine's Day - you're dead!
LESLEY GORE - February 16
Looks like Lesley finally got gored.
It's her party, so she can die if she wants to.
We thought singers are not ever supposed to smoke.
(Take your pick.)
Classic 1960s pop singer (It's My Party,
Judy's Turn To Cry, You Don't Own Me, etc.).
(Age: 68. C.O.D.: Lung Cancer.)
LEONARD NIMOY - February 27
Like, so long you prospered.
Iconic TV and movie star, who was also a director.
Known mostly for his roles in the TV shows
Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and Fringe.
(Age: 83. C.O.D.: Those troublesome little Tribbles.)
GORDON KENT - March 5
Very talented TV cartoon animator
(Family Guy, Gravity Falls, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes).
SAM SIMON - March 8
Writer, producer and director
(The Simpsons, Cheers, The Drew Carey Show).
(Age: 59. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
FRED FREDERICKS - March 10
Cartoonist who drew the syndicated
newspaper comic strip Mandrake the Magician.
IRWIN HASEN - March 13
(Not a great year for cartoon makers, either.)
Cartoonist who drew the syndicated
newspaper comic strip Dondi.
SALLY FORREST - March 15
Scratch another tree.
Actress, singer and dancer who did TV series stuff
including Family Affair, Rawhide, The Millionaire,
and Suspense, but was mainly known for
action and adventure movies, such as:
While the City Sleeps 1956
The Strange Door 1951
The Strip 1951
Excuse My Dust 1951
Hard, Fast and Beautiful 1951
Vengeance Valley 1950
Mystery Street 1949
Not Wanted 1949
Mr. Belvedere Goes to College 1949
(Age: 86. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
MIKE PORCARO - March 15
(The same day as Sally forrest.)
Played bass for the 1980s band Toto.
(Age: 59. C.O.D.: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.)
BRUCE CRUMP - March 16
(The day after Mike Porcaro.)
Played drums for the 1980s band Molly Hatchet.
Memphis-born Crump played on Hatchet's biggest albums,
including the self-titled 1978 debut and the following
year's Flirtin' With Disaster. He had two spells with
the group, first leaving in 1982 before returning from
1984 to 1990 when he left for the final time.
Had recently joined the band China Sky, with whom
he recorded this year's comeback album China Sky II.
(Age: 57. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
ANDY FRASER - March 16
Not so all right, now.
(The same day as Bruce Crump.)
British musician (John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Free)
and songwriter ("All Right Now", "Every Kinda People").
Oddly never appeared on the TV series Fraser.
(Age: 62. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
JIM BERRY - March 20
World, it's time to bury Jim.
Cartoonist mainly known for Berry's World.
It was a syndicated newspaper comic strip
that ran for over 40 years.
(Not connected to fellow humorist Dave Barry.)
(Age: 62. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
RICHARD L. BARE - March 28
TV series director and producer, notably of the hit
show Green Acres. Lived past 100, and Green Acres
star Eddie Albert lived to around 100, so what were
those guys putting in that studio water over there?
(Age: 101. C.O.D.: Ran out of acres to plow.)
GENE SAKS - March 28
He's in a sack, alright.
(The same day as Richard L. Bare.)
Stage and film director (The Odd Couple,
Barefoot In The Park, Brighton Beach Memoirs).
Let's just say that writer Neil Simon
had the Saksman on speed dial.
(Age: 93. C.O.D.: Pneumonia.)
CYNTHIA LENNON - April 1
All Cyns forgiven.
British author who was the first wife of John Lennon.
You know, the one he should have stayed married to.
Happy April Fools Day - you're dead!
(Age: 75. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
RICHARD DYSART - April 5
Movie and TV character actor
(Wall Street, The Thing, L.A. Law).
JAMES BEST - April 6
(The day after Richard Dysart.)
Movie and TV character actor
(The Dukes of Hazzard, The Twilight Zone,
The Andy Griffith Show, Ride Lonesome, Sounder).
(And we swear we didn't add
that funeral sign behind him.)
(Age: 88. C.O.D.: Pneumonia.)
STAN FREBERG - April 7
The Freberg has melted.
(Day after James Best, and same day as Geoffrey Lewis.)
Comedian and voice actor (Looney Tunes,
Lady And The Tramp, tons of radio stuff).
(Age: 88. C.O.D.: Pneumonia.)
GEOFFREY LEWIS - April 7
(The same day as Stan Freberg, and the day after James Best.)
Well-liked and reliable character actor in dozens of movies
and TV shows (including High Plains Drifter, Maverick,
The Lawnmower Man), far too many to list here.
He was also the father of actress Julliette Lewis.
(Age: 79. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
HERB TRIMPE - April 13
Veteran comic book artist (The Incredible Hulk, Thor),
and co-creator (with Len Wein) of X-Men star Wolverine.
PERCY SLEDGE - April 14
(The day after Herb Trimpe.)
R&B singer ("When a Man Loves a Woman").
RICHARD CORLISS - April 23
Time magazine film critic and insightful guest
on audio commentary tracks of many films.
SAWYER SWEETEN - April 23
Had to be some sour grapes in there somewhere.
(The same day as Richard Corliss.)
Child actor mainly known for
Everybody Loves Raymond.
(Age: 19. C.O.D.: Suicide by gun.)
JAYNE MEADOWS - April 26
Another sister joins the graveyard meadow.
(Jayne left, Audrey right.)
Her sister Audrey played Alice on The Honeymooners.
Jayne married comedian Steve Allen in the late 1950s.
Often proved to be quite a witty film and TV actress,
for a largely dimwit nation that rarely appreciated it.
SUZANNE CROUGH - April 27
Another crow has flown.
(Day after Jayne Meadows.)
Played younger daughter Tracy Partridge on the
1970s musical sitcom The Partridge Family.
(Age: 52. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
BEN E. KING - April 30
Soul and R&B singer mainly known for "Stand by Me."
GRACE LEE WHITNEY - May 1
Actress (original Star Trek TV series, and films
including Irma la Douce, and Some Like It Hot).
B.B. KING - May 14
Another king has left the castle.
(This year is one of those rare times
when it's not good to be king.)
Guitarist and singer known for many blues pop hits,
most notably The Thrill Is Gone.
Here are the closing lines to that song:
"Oh I'm free, free, free now
I'm free from your spell
And now that it's over
All I can do is wish you well"
Yes, you're free now, B.B.
And we all wish you well.
(The Thrill Is Gone © Universal Music Publishing Group)
(Songwriters: Roy Hawkins, Rick Darnell)
ANNE MEARA - May 23
Comic (Stiller and Meara) and actress
(including TV's Archie Bunker's Place,
The King of Queens, and the film Awakenings).
Also the mom of comedic actor Ben Stiller.
JOHN NASH - May 23
(The same day as Anne Meara.)
Brilliant mathematician who inspired the
semi-autobiographical film A Beautiful Mind,
starring Russel Crowe (who was Oscar-nominated
for it) and directed by Ron Howard.
(Age: 86) (C.O.D.: Taxi crash - with wife - under suspicious circumstances.)
CHRISTOPHER LEE - June 7
Dracula has been lowered back into the grave.
Consummate scary dude in tons of spooky movies.
Go to IMDB, and ye shall see!
VINCENT BUGLIOSI - June 8
Manson family values strikes again.
(The day after Christopher Lee.)
Used to be sharp, before he went senile.
Shortly before he croaked, Buggy wrote one last book,
bizarrely claiming that the Warren commission liars who
covered up the JFK hit were really geniuses after all,
and the ridiculous magic bullet theory was 100% correct.
We assumed someone got to him and forced him to write
it at gunpoint. But now he's dead anyway, since everyone
just laughed at that terrible excuse for non-fiction.
So Bugliosi is boots up, while his old nemesis
Charles Manson still lives (albeit in prison).
Shouldn't it be the other way around?
ORNETTE COLEMAN - June 11
(Photo by C. Brandon.)
Now he's ornate coleslaw.
Highly regarded jazzman.
(No relation to Coleman Hawkins.)
RON MOODY - June 11
Now he's quite indifferent to everything.
(The same day as Ornette Coleman.)
Played Fagen in one of several film versions of Oliver Twist film versions.
(But not in the best version.)
RICK DUCOMMUN - June 12
(The day after Ornette Coleman and Ron Moody.)
Hilarious comedian and character actor
who appeared in films including The Burbs,
Die Hard, and Groundhog Day.
(Age: 62. C.O.D.: Diabetes.)
JAMES HORNER - June 22
An aircraft dropping like a rock would make any composer
lose his composure.
Brilliant film score composer,
whose huge body of work includes:
2012 The Amazing Spider-Man
1998 The Mask of Zorro
1998 Deep Impact
1995 Apollo 13
1991 The Rocketeer
1989 Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
1989 Field of Dreams
1984 Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
1982 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
(Age: 61. C.O.D.: Small plane crash.)
DICK VAN PATTEN - June 23
Turned out that 6 feet - not 8 -
was more than enough room for him.
(The day after James Horner.)
Star of the TV comedy series Eight Is Enough.
PATRICK MACNEE - June 25
The Reaper gets his revenge on the avenger.
Another TV star.
(Not a good week to have the name "Pat" in your monicker.)
JACK CARTER - June 28
Not the 1940s comedy movie actor Jack Carter.
This was the post-'40s TV comedian Jack Carter.
AMANDA PETERSON - July 5
Quitting Hollywood for grad school?
Always a really dumb idea, baby.
Actress mainly known for
Can't Buy Me Love (1987),
opposite Patrick Dempsey.
(Age: 43. C.O.D.: Years of alcohol and drug abuse.)
OMAR SHARIF - July 10
Now there needs to be a new Sharif in town.
Co-starred in Lawrence Of Arabia with Peter O'Toole.
Was also featured in Dr. Zhivago.
That's right - from the sand to the snow, this guy did it all.
ALAN KUPPERBERG - July 16
Versatile veteran comic book artist
(The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, etc.).
(Age: 62. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
ALEX ROCCO - July 18
A big rock just fell on Rocco
Emmy-winning actor who did stuff like
The George Carlin Show
The Facts of Life
THEODORE BIKEL - July 21
Not to be bitter, but Bikel finally bit it.
Character actor whose fine work includes an
appearance in a classic episode of The Twilight
Zone, but we're too lazy to look it up.
"ROWDY" RODDY PIPER - July 30
Another pipe no longer being played.
1980s pro wrestler and action film star
whose work includes the cheese classic They Live.
Well, they do, but Roddy doesn't.
(Age: 61. C.O.D.: Hodgkins disease.)
FRANK GIFFORD - August 9
At last, the Giff is all stiff.
Former football player and sports announcer
who cheated on his TV host then-wife Kathie Lee
with one of Johnny Carson's wives, among others.
JULIAN BOND - August 15
Never did get to say in a film,
"the name is Bond - Julian Bond."
Civil rights activist and politician,
chairman of the NAACP (1998–2010),
and former presidential candidate.
(Age: 75. C.O.D.: Vascular disease. )
ANNA KASHFI - August 16
She'd do your dumb costume movie,
just as long as you paid her cash fee.
(The day after Julian Bond.)
Indian-born British actress who did a few films,
but was hired mainly as eye candy. Speaking of which,
her name sounded like one of those energy bars
people take with them when they go out jogging.
YVONNE CRAIG - August 17
Best Batgirl ever!
(The day after Anna Kashfi.)
Actress (Batman TV series, Star Trek TV series, Olivia).
In the 1960s, between her and fellow Russian
beauty Natalie Wood, it was pretty much
impossible to buy that whole Cold War thing.
(Age: 78. C.O.D.: Breast cancer.)
BUD YORKIN - August 18
Yorkin, york out.
(The day after Yvonne Craig.)
Film and television director, producer
(All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son) and actor.
Which means he did a whole lot of work with Norman Lear.
MELODY PATTERSON - August 20
She always sounded like a lovely melody.
Mostly known as the incredibly hot blonde chick
on the civil war comedy TV series F Troop.
Girls, just try seeming attractive under those
limiting circumstances - wearing a cowboy outfit,
and being filmed only in black and white, yet!
(Age: 66. C.O.D.: Multiple organ failure.)
BRAD ANDERSON - August 30
Let's see what that whacky dog's up to this morning!
(Same day as Wes Craven.)
(Not a good month to have the word "son" in your name.)
The cartoonist dude who did that Marmaduke cartoon strip.
Don't worry, though - as usual with the funny papers,
some syndicate hacks will continue the thing until...
well past the age of forever.
WES CRAVEN - August 30
What a cowardly name for such a fright-inducing fellow.
(The same day as Brad Anderson.)
The director dude who did that Scream film series.
He also made the Nightmare on Elm Street series,
The Hills Have Eyes, etc., etc.
Horror was his hobby, and boo! was his business.
(Age: 76. C.O.D.: Brain cancer.)
DEAN JONES - September 1
File under: Keeping down with the Joneses.
Film actor (The Love Bug, Company, Beethoven)
mainly known for doing lots of Disney comedy films.
Always a gentleman, very pleasant and affable.
In other words, much too good for Hollywood.
(Age: 84. C.O.D.: Parkinson's disease. )
JUDY CARNE - September 3
Now appearing on selected grocery shelves as
several cans of Punch & Judy chili con carne.
Brit comedienne mostly identified as the "sock it to me"
girl on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In 1960s TV show.
Wow, that must have really been some case of the sniffles -
you might say it really socked it to her!
(Age: 76. C.O.D.: Pneumonia. )
JEAN DARLING - September 4
Literally a woman of many talents.
(The day after Judy Carne.))
An actress featured in the Our Gang film series,
she was also a Broadway singer, dancer, radio
performer and suspense writer, whose work was
often published in Alfred Hitchcok's Mystery Magazine.
MARTIN MILNER - September 6
Uh, one Adam-12, stiff on Route 66 -
see the dead man... named Marty.
Boyish actor (Adam-12, Route 66, Sweet Smell of Success).
CANDIDA ROYALLE - September 7
Live by the nether regions, die by the nether regions.
(The day after Martin Milner.)
Porn star, producer and director who pioneered the
concept of the kinder, gentler "couples" adult film.
(Age: 64. C.O.D.: Ovarian cancer.)
DICKIE MOORE - September 10
Now Moore is less.
(Not a good month have been an
Our Ganger or Little Rascal.)
Child actor remembered for a brief stint
with the Our Gang film series in the early 1930s,
as well as giving Shirley Temple her first on-screen
kiss (in "Miss Annie Rooney" - 1942).
He served in World War II and attended
college, majoring in journalism.
He died just two days short of what
would have been his 90th birthday.
MOSES MALONE - September 13
Deliveries have been cancelled on this route.
Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001,
Malone was known as "The Mailman" and "The Chairman Of The Boards."
He is also the NBA's career leader in offensive rebounds,
leading the league in rebounds per game for five straight
seasons from 1980-85. Plus he led the 76ers to the
1983 NBA championship over the Lakers.
Let's see you rebound from this, hotshot.
Happy Grandparents Day - you're dead!
JACKIE COLLINS - September 19
Sister of actress Joan Collins.
Writer of many modern day potboilers.
JACK LARSON - September 20
(The day after Jackie Collins.)
Writer and actor with perfect comedy timing.
Played Daily Planet cub reporter Jimmy Olsen
on the classic TV series The Adventures Of Superman.
YOGI BERRA - September 22
No relation to a Yogi Bear.
Pro baseball player (NY Yankees) and later manager.
JOHN GUILLERMIN - September 27
Director of action-oriented stuff, including:
Death On The Nile (1978)
King Kong (1976)
The Towering Inferno (1974)
Shaft In Africa (1973)
The Bridge At Remagen (1969)
The Blue Max (1966)
Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (1959)
KEVIN CORCORAN - October 6
Although he became a fine producer and assistant director,
"Moochie" was mainly known as one of the greatest child
actors of all time (notably in classic Disney films), including:
My Three Sons (TV Series) 1967
Wagon Train (TV Series) 1959-1963
Walt Disney's Wonderful World Of Color (TV Series) 1957-1963
Bon Voyage! 1962
Babes In Toyland 1961
Swiss Family Robinson 1960
Toby Tyler 1960
The Shaggy Dog 1959
Old Yeller 1957
The Adventures Of Spin And Marty (TV Series) 1956-1957
Written On The Wind 1956
The Glenn Miller Story 1954
(Age: 66. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
HY HOLLINGER - October 7
Hollywood Hack Hy Hollinger History
(The day after Kevin Corcoran.)
Show biz trade paper reporter (Variety).
DENNIS EICHHORN - October 8
(The day after Hy Hollinger.)
Alternative comic book artist and writer, who was a
major pioneer in the field of autobiographical comics.
(Word has it that over 50% of his controversial
published stories were based on actual events.)
PAUL PRUDHOMME - October 8
(The same day as Dennis Eichhorn.)
Chef, cookbook writer, restaurateur, and recipient
of the Order of Agricultural Merit (1980).
DEAN CHANCE - October 11
Pro baseball player (Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers).
He later became a boxing official, and was the
founder of the International Boxing Association.
(Age: 74. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
JOAN LESLIE - October 12
(The day after Dean Chance.)
Actress (High Sierra, Sergeant York, Yankee Doodle Dandy).
CORY WELLS - October 20
Singer and co-founder of the
hit pop group Three Dog Night.
No relation to country singer Kitty Wells.
(Age: 74. C.O.D.: Complications from multiple myeloma.)
MARTY INGELS - October 21
(The day after Cory Wells.)
Brilliant comedian and co-star (with John Astin)
of the TV series I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, plus
tons of guest shots in films and TV.
Was also married to singer/actress Shirley Jones.
Wow, first Jack Cassidy and then this guy.
She must be a real psycho ego magnet. But hey,
gotta admire her strength in handling all that jazz.
(Age: 79. C.O.D.: Stroke.)
MURPHY ANDERSON - October 23
(Not a good year to have the last name of Anderson.)
Comic book artist and peerless inker
(Superman, The Atom, The Flash,
Green Lantern, etc.). He also created superhero
characters including Adam Strange and Zatanna.
(Age: 89. C.O.D.: Heart failure.)
MAUREEN O'HARA - October 24
(The day after Murphy Anderson.)
Irish-American actress (How Green Was My Valley,
Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man).
AL MOLINARO - October 30
Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep...
Al "Moleman" Molinaro: Comedic character actor
(The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi).
(Age: 96. C.O.D.: Complications from infected gall bladder.)
CHARLES HERBERT - October 31
(The day after Al Molinaro.)
Kuite a killer year for kute, klever kid actors.
Another great child performer gone. He was in stuff like:
The Boy And The Pirates
Please Don't Eat The Daisies
Happy Halloween - you're dead!
(Age: 66. C.O.D.: Heart attack.)
FRED THOMPSON - November 1
(The day after Charles Herbert.)
There's acting, and then there's acting.
Film star and Senator representing the state of Tennessee.
(Age: 73. C.O.D.: Cancer: lymphoma.)
GEORGE BARRIS - November 5
Custom car designer of popular autos including
the Batmobile for the Batman TV series,
and the Munster Koach for the Munsters TV series.
(Age: 89. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
DAVID CANARY - November 16
There goes that canary in the coal mine.
Although he was mainly known to nighttime TV viewers of Bonanza,
he later starred for decades on the daytime soap All My Children.
(In fact, that made him a multiple daytime Emmy award-winner.)
REX REASON - November 19
(With his Island co-star Faith Domergue.)
Is finally now out of season.
Brother of actor Rhodes Reason (TV's White Hunter),
who also recently passed on (December 26, 2014),
Rex starred in the science fiction classic This Island Earth.
MARJORIE LORD - November 28
In 1956, while she was appearing in the play Anniversary Waltz, Lord caught the attention of actor/producer Danny Thomas, who asked her to replace departing Jean Hagen as his wife on his Make Room For Daddy television series. Hagen had quit after playing Thomas' wife since the series' inception in 1953, but she was written out of the script after three years in 1956. Lord accepted, and the name of the series was changed to The Danny Thomas Show. She played the role for almost 10 seasons, until the show ended in 1964. In 1970, Lord and Thomas, along with several other original supporting actors, returned to TV with Make Room For Granddaddy. That show lasted one season of 24 episodes. (There were also a few reunion specials mixed in there somewhere.)
SCOTT WEILAND - December 3
The former lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots,
this popular rock star was a coke and heroin
addict for almost a quarter of a century.
(So he never even made it to
getting hit by the big 5-oh first.)
ROBERT LOGGIA - December 4
(The day after Scott Weiland.)
Sadly, the spy-like master burglar known
as T.H.E. Cat will prowl the city no more.
Of course, besides that short-lived but cool TV series,
he most notably co-starred in Big with Tom Hanks,
and in the modern classic Scarface, opposite Al Pacino.
TOM "SNUFF" GARRETT - December 16
Record producer of various country and
pop hits, mainly during the 1960s and '70s.
Stars he worked with included Johnny Burnette,
Tanya Tucker, Leon Russell, Gary Lewis and the
Playboys, Del Shannon, and Sonny and Cher.
(Age: 76. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON - December 25
Visionary writer (Logan's Run, The Twilight Zone, Star Trek: The Original Series).
(Age: 86. C.O.D.: Cancer.)
MEADOWLARK LEMON - December 27
Greatest. Baseketball. Player. Ever.
This Hall Of Fame basketball player was for decades the main star
of the special exhibition team known as the Harlem Globetrotters.
CRAIG STRICKLAND - December 27
(Same day as Meadowlark Lemon.)
Country music singer who thought hunting innocent ducks was a good idea.
It wasn't. Those ducks totally kicked his butt.
(No relation to Suddenly Susan TV star Dave Strickland, who hung himself.)
(Age: 29. C.O.D.: Hypothermia: after boat capsized.)
HASKELL WEXLER - December 27
(Same day as Meadowlark Lemon and Craig Strickland.)
Modern era classic cinematographer and director, whose work included
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Medium Cool.
(Won two Oscars - one in 1966 for Woolf, and one in 1976 for Cuckoo's Nest.)
IAN "LEMMY" KILMISTER - December 28
(The day after Meadowlark Lemon, Craig Strickland and Haskell Wexler.)
Yep, this mister is killed, alright.
British rock musician (Motorhead, Hawkwind).
(Age: 70. C.O.D.: Brain cancer.)
FRANK MALZONE - December 29
Solid hitting pro baseball player (Boston Red Sox, California Angels).
Also made a mean calzone.
NATALIE COLE - December 31
(Same day as Beth Howland and Wayne Rogers.)
More coleslaw, please.
Now she's ridin' in a black hearse.
The daughter of music legend Nat King Cole,
she also drove the one hit wonder route
with a 1980s song called Pink Cadillac.
(Also did a tacky beyond the grave "duet" of the tune
Unforgettable with her dad, which we won't dwell on.)
Happy New Year's Eve - you're dead!
(Age: 65. C.O.D.: Heart failure linked to lung disease.)
BETH HOWLAND - December 31
(Same day as Natalie Cole and Wayne Rogers.)
Another one leaves the Alice palace.
Co-starred as Vera the waitress for nine seasons in the '70s and '80s on the CBS sitcom Alice.
(Her husband was Murphy Brown co-star Charles Kimbrough.)
Her more recent television credits include Murder She Wrote, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and The Tick.
Happy New Year's Eve - you're dead!
(Age: 74. C.O.D.: Lung cancer.)
WAYNE ROGERS - December 31
(Same day as Natalie Cole and Beth Howland.)
Trapper trapped and reaped by the Reaper.
Film at 11.
This always cool guy actor played the original Trapper
John on the award-winning hit TV series M*A*S*H.
He also did the TV show House Calls, and the film Cool Hand Luke.
Thanks to the rules of alphabetical order by last names,
Rogers is the last really famous person to croak in 2015.
In your face, Natalie Cole and Beth Howland. Way to go, Trapper!
Happy New Year's Eve - you're dead!
(Age: 82. C.O.D.: Pneumonia)
= 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! =