2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

This is a good place to drop general and weird news, entertainment, and general show prep material that might be interesting to air talent or producers. Hot dog threads ALWAYS welcome.

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2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by unchoopfan » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:28 pm

Patti Page, Country Music Icon, 85

Billboard.com/Wikipedia - Country singer Patti Page, best known for her huge 1950 hit "Tennessee Waltz," has died. She was 85. Page died on New Year's Day in Encinitas, Calif., according to her manager.

Page signed with Mercury Records in 1947, and became their first successful female artist, starting with 1948's "Confess." She created a distinctive sound for the music industry by overdubbing her own voice when she didn't have enough money to hire backup singers for that first single. In 1950, she had her first million-selling single "With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming", and would eventually have 14 additional million-selling singles between 1950 and 1965.

Page's signature song, "Tennessee Waltz", recorded in 1950, was one of the biggest-selling singles of the 20th century, and is also one of the two official state songs of Tennessee. "Tennessee Waltz" spent 13 weeks atop the Billboard magazine's Best-Sellers List in 1950. Page had three additional No. 1 hit singles between 1950 and 1953, with "All My Love (Bolero)", "I Went to Your Wedding", and "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window."

Unlike most pop music singers, Page blended the styles of country music into many of her most popular songs. By doing this, many of Page's singles also made the Billboard Country Chart. Towards the 1970s, Page shifted her career towards country music, and she began charting on the country charts, up until 1982. Page is one of the few vocalists who have made the country charts in five separate decades.

When rock and roll music became popular during the second half of the 1950s, traditional pop music was becoming less popular. Page was one of the few traditional pop music singers who was able to sustain her success, continuing to have major hits into the mid-1960s with "Old Cape Cod", "Allegheny Moon", "A Poor Man's Roses (Or a Rich Man's Gold)", and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte".

She was one of the top-selling female singers in history with more than 100 million record sales, with 24 records in the top 10, including four that reached No. 1. She was also the first singer to have television programs on all three major networks, including "The Patti Page Show" on ABC.

Along with Ravi Shankar, who died last month, and several others, Page will be honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award during next month's Grammy Awards.

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Post by unchoopfan » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:56 am

Tony Lip, actor (The Sopranos, Donnie Brasco, Goodfellas), 82

(Hollywood.com) - Actor Tony Lip, best known for his role as crime boss Carmine Lupertazzi in the hit HBO series The Sopranos, passed away Friday (Jan. 4) in Teaneck, N.J., The Associated Press reports via The New York Times. Lip, who was born Frank Anthony Vallelonga, died at the age of 82 after years of poor health.

Lip was a renowned actor, especially when it came to playing mafioso roles. Besides The Sopranos, he secured the role of real-life Bonanno family gangster Philip Giaccone in Donnie Brasco. He also played Lucchese crime family member Francesco Manzo in Goodfellas. Lip even made his debut film role in The Godfather, after meeting Francis Ford Coppola and Louis DiGiamo at Copacabana Nightclub in New York City.

Lip was born in Beaver Falls, Penn., but grew up in The Bronx. He got his nickname in 1938 because he could out-talk anyone. Lip is survived by his sons Nick Vallelonga and Frank Vallelonga Jr. and one grandson.

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Sammy Johns, singer/songwriter (Chevy Van, Common Man), 66

Sammy Johns, who scored a one of the biggest pop hits of the 1970's with "Chevy Van," has died. Johns, who was born in Charlotte but spent most of his life in Gaston County, died Friday (Jan. 4) at Gaston Memorial Hospital. He was 66.

“Chevy Van,” which told the story of a guy and girl having a one night stand in the back of the guy’s van, went triple platinum in 1975 and was called “The Song of the Seventies” by Rolling Stone magazine. The song peaked at number five on the Billboard Singles Chart. Johns also had minor hits with “Early Morning Love” and “Rag Doll," but had greater success as a Nashville songwriter. He penned the hits "Common Man”, “America”, and “Desperado Love” for such artists as Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty, Sammy Kershaw, and John Conlee.

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Richard McWilliams, entrepreneur, Upper Deck (sports trading cards) co-founder, 59

BaseballAmerica.com - Upper Deck co-founder and CEO Richard P. McWilliam passed away suddenly on Saturday (Jan. 5) at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. He was 59 years old.

McWilliam co-founded Upper Deck in 1989 and oversaw its operations until his death. He is credited with helping to transform the sports trading card industry, acquiring a Major League Baseball license in time to produce the company's first set in 1989, which included the first Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card.

“Our entire company is heartbroken and grieving his death today,” Upper Deck’s Jason Masherah wrote on the company’s Facebook page today. Masherah, Upper Deck’s vice president of marketing and business development, had fulfilled the role of president for the past year as McWilliam battled heart disease before being officially named to the post today.

“Richard was a thought leader and visionary in the trading card industry. It grew from a hobby for some baseball fans into a multi-billion dollar industry because of the multiple innovations that Upper Deck introduced under his leadership,” Masherah said in a press release. “He built a company that has weathered difficult times for the entire industry and is well positioned for future success.”

According to a 1993 New York Times profile, McWilliam and Upper Deck shook up the trading card industry by replacing traditional photos on cardboard with a premium, high-quality product. Upper Deck cards featured a photo on both sides and included a hologram to make the counterfeit proof. Rival card makers were forced to improve their product that helped propel the sports trading card market from a $50 million industry in 1980 to a $1.5 billion behemoth in 1992, according to the New York Times. The innovations also led to a saturation of the market that has devalued the modern trading card.

"I never had a passion for cards, just a passion for doing something perfectly," McWilliam told The Times. "I don't care if a card is worth 2 cents or $50."

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by David Paleg » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:03 am

Ned Wertimer, doorman on 'Jeffersons,' dies at 89
Jan 8, 8:51 PM (ET)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ned Wertimer, who played Ralph the Doorman on all 11 seasons of the CBS sitcom "The Jeffersons," has died.

Wertimer's manager Brad Lemack said Tuesday that the 89-year-old actor died at a Los Angeles-area nursing home on Jan. 2, following a November fall at his home in Burbank.

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., and a Navy pilot during World War II, Wertimer had one-off roles on dozens of TV shows from the early 1960s through the late 1980s, including "Car 54 Where Are You?" and "Mary Tyler Moore."

But he was best known by far as Ralph Hart, the uniformed, mustachioed doorman at the luxury apartment building on "The Jeffersons," the "All In the Family" spinoff that ran from 1975 to 1985.

The show's star, Sherman Hemsley, died July 24.

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Post by unchoopfan » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:24 pm

Conrad Bain, actor (Diff'rent Strokes, Maude), 89

NEW YORK (AP) — Conrad Bain, a veteran stage and film actor who became a star in middle age as the kindly white adoptive father of two young African-American brothers in the TV sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," has died.

Bain died Monday of natural causes in his hometown of Livermore, Calif., according to his daughter, Jennifer Bain. He was 89.

The show that made him famous debuted on NBC in 1978, an era when television comedies tackled relevant social issues. "Diff'rent Strokes" touched on serious themes but was known better as a family comedy that drew most of its laughs from its standout child actor, Gary Coleman.

Bain played wealthy Manhattan widower Philip Drummond, who promised his dying housekeeper he would raise her sons, played by Coleman and Todd Bridges. Race and class relations became topics on the show as much as the typical trials of growing up.

Bain went directly into "Diff'rent Strokes" from another comedy, "Maude," which aired on CBS from 1972 to 1978.

As Dr. Arthur Harmon, the conservative neighbor often zinged by Bea Arthur's liberal feminist, Bain became so convincing as a doctor that a woman once stopped him in an airport seeking medical advice.

At a nostalgia gathering in 1999, he lamented the fading of situation comedies that he said were about something.

"I think they got off the track when they first hired a standup comic to do the lead," he said. "Instead of people creating real situations, you get people trying to act funny."

Before those television roles, Bain had appeared occasionally in films, including "A Lovely Way to Die," ''Coogan's Bluff," ''The Anderson Tapes," ''I Never Sang for My Father" and Woody Allen's "Bananas." He also played the clerk at the Collinsport Inn in the 1960s television show "Dark Shadows."

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Jimmy Neil, L.A. deejay/60s TV host (Shindig!), 73

Elaine Woo/L.A. Times

Jimmy O'Neill, an Oklahoman barely out of his teens when he became Los Angeles' top-rated radio deejay and only 24 when he catapulted to national celebrity as the host of "Shindig!," one of the earliest rock 'n' roll shows on prime-time television, died Friday at his West Hollywood home. He was 73.

He had diabetes and heart problems, said his son, James O'Neill.

In 1959, O'Neill made radio history as the first voice heard on KRLA-AM (1110) when it dropped its country-western format for rock music. It quickly became a powerhouse in rock radio and launched O'Neill into television in 1964 as the winsome emcee of "Shindig!"

Compared with "American Bandstand," the afternoon music-and-dance show for teenagers helmed by Dick Clark, "Shindig!" was a blast of hot air that featured frenetic dancers (including a young Teri Garr) and mingled black and white musicians in an era when much of the country was still segregated. Each episode showcased a dozen of the biggest names in pop music, such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. Bobby Sherman, Leon Russell, Darlene Love and Billy Preston were also among the regulars.

"It was a phenomenal experience," said Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, who performed on the first telecast of "Shindig!" with Cooke and the Everly Brothers. "We were like 23, 24 years old and on national television. This was like the coolest thing in the world. And Jimmy was just the perfect guy to host that show. He wasn't slick … he never tried to be too hip. He was just the perfect guy to hold all that together."

O'Neill opened every show with the same rousing welcome:

"Howdy-hi, Shindiggers… we've got a 'Shindig!' for you that's so far in it's out of sight!"

The show, broadcast on ABC, lasted only 15 months, but it made its emcee so famous with the underage crowd that it inspired a character named Jimmy O'Neillstone in the 1960s "Flintstones" cartoon series. The episode was called "Shinrock-a-Go-Go."

When the network canceled the show in early 1966, after experimenting unsuccessfully with more mainstream musical guests, it sent O'Neill into a tailspin. His marriage to songwriter Sharon Sheeley collapsed. "I went crazy," he told the Chicago Tribune in 1992. "I tried to burn my house down. Literally set fire to my house. I was 26 years old. I had never had a bad break before. I drank and drugged my way through my life savings."

He eventually sobered up and returned to radio, working at KDAY from 1969 to 1971. Later he returned for two more stints at KRLA, in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

In 1991, Rhino Home Video released a compilation of "Shindig!" broadcasts that revived interest in the show.

"One of the funniest things he ever told me," said Mike Wagner, the KRLA program director who hired O'Neill in the 1990s, "was that by the time he was 24 he had peaked already. He said 'My career was front-loaded.' But he didn't have any regrets. He was an eternally young, Midwestern happy-go-lucky type. He always had a smile in his voice."

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Pauline Friedman Phillips, advice columnist (Dear Abby), 94

TMZ.com - Pauline Phillips --the woman who founded the "Dear Abby" advice column -- died yesterday (Jan. 16) at the age of 94.

A rep for Phillips tells TMZ Pauline had been battling Alzheimer's disease.

Pauline's daughter, Jeanne -- who took over the "Dear Abby" column -- says ... "I have lost my mother, my mentor and my best friend."

She adds, "My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion,commitment and positive social change. I will honor her memory every day by continuing this legacy."

"Dear Abby" first appeared in print in 1956 -- and eventually grew to a daily readership of 100 MILLION.

Pauline's twin sister was advice columnist Ann Landers -- who died in 2002 at the age of 83.

During her career, Phillips used the pen name Abigail Van Buren -- she used the name "Abigail" from the wise woman in the Old Testament and "Van Buren" was adopted in honor of one of her favorite presidents.

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:35 pm

Pauline Friedman Phillips, who under the name of Abigail Van Buren, wrote the long-running "Dear Abby" advice column that was followed by millions of newspaper readers throughout the world, has died. She was 94.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/17/de ... z2IGNZFCSf

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:45 pm

On the day that the Orioles are holding their annual FanFest, news has spread through the Baltimore Convention Center that Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver passed away last night. He was 82.

http://www.masnsports.com/school_of_roc ... um=twitter

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:44 am

Stanley Frank Musial, the St. Louis Cardinals star who was one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, died Saturday. He was 92.

"I never heard anybody say a bad word about him — ever," Willie Mays said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame.

The Cardinals announced Musial's death in a news release and said he died at his home in Ladue, a St. Louis suburb, surrounded by family. The team said Musial's son-in-law, Dave Edmonds, informed the club of the slugger's death.

Earlier Saturday, baseball lost another Hall of Famer when longtime Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver died at age 82.

Musial, the Midwest icon with too many batting records to fit on his Hall of Fame plaque, was so revered in St. Louis that two statues in his honor stand outside Busch Stadium — one just wouldn't do him justice. He was one of baseball's greatest hitters, every bit the equal of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio even without the bright lights of the big city.

Musial won seven National League batting crowns, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s.
http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/ ... 2-18260677

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:04 pm

The last of the Andrews sisters Patty has died.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/30/showbiz/p ... rews-obit/

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by David Paleg » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:22 pm

Stuart Freeborn, Yoda's maker, dies

Stuart Freeborn, the pioneering makeup artist behind 'Star Wars' creatures Yoda and Chewbacca, as well work on '2001: A Space Odyssey', 'The Omen', and 'Superman', died yesterday at the age of 98. Rest in peace.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/feb ... maker-dies

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by Lester » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:50 pm

'Wild Thing' singer Reg Presley, vocalist for The Troggs, dies of cancer at 71

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainmen ... z2KQfsLOe7

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:23 pm

Easley One of Best Ever In KVC



Former West Virginia University football star and NFL veteran Walter Easley is dead. He was 55.

Easley's cousin, Robert Easley, Jr., says his body was found in his Charleston apartment Thursday.

"It's overwhelming right now because it took us all by surprise," Easley, Jr. said. "Looked like he was happy (Wed). He was at a middle school Catholic basketball game and he looked alright and now this happens."

Easley was a versatile athlete who starred at Stonewall Jackson High School on Charleston's West Side in the 1970s. He was a bruising running back, a scoring post player in basketball and a champion high-hurdler.

Easley played at WVU under Frank Cignetti and Don Nehlen. He began at fullback, was switched to linebacker, but when Nehlen got the job before the 1980 season he moved Easley back to fullback where he blocked for fellow Kanawha Valley native Robert Alexander.

"He weighed 230, 235 pounds and he looked like a 200-pound guy. He carried his weight very well. I think he was a natural fullback," Coach Nehlen told MetroNews Thursday. "He was such a Mountaineer. I just feel so bad for him and his family."

Easley scored the first touchdown at new Mountaineer Field against Cincinnati on Sept. 6, 1980.

"I remember the play. We called it a 36, an off-tackle play right," Nehlen said.

Easley was undrafted in the 1981 NFL Draft but made the San Francisco 49ers and played on the Super Bowl winning team in 1981. He had a second season with San Francisco before finishing is pro career with the Chicago Blitz and Pittsburgh Maulers of the USFL.

Nehlen says he'd kept in close contact with Easley over the years because of his health problems. He says he seemed to be doing better after getting a kidney transplant a few years ago.

"Walt has struggled a great deal probably the last 10 years or so. He's had a tough go of it," Nehlen said.

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Post by David Paleg » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:08 pm

'Underdog' cartoon co-creator dies at 85
Feb 15, 10:21 AM (ET)

BOSTON (AP) - William Watts Biggers, the co-creator of the cartoon "Underdog," the mild-mannered canine shoeshine boy who turned into a caped superhero to rescue his girlfriend, Sweet Polly Purebred, has died. He was 85.

Family friend Derek Tague says Biggers, who went by "Buck," died unexpectedly at his Plymouth, Mass., home on Sunday.

The native of Avondale Estates, Ga., worked for the New York City advertising firm DFS when he accepted an assignment from the agency's largest client, General Mills, to create television cartoons to promote its breakfast cereals. The most famous was "Underdog," which debuted on NBC in 1964.

Full story at Iwon/AP News.

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by Hoosier Daddy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:51 am

Singer Mindy McCready dead at age 37

Feb. 17, 2013, 9:48 PM EST

HEBER SPRINGS, Arkansas (AP) — Mindy McCready, who hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career, died Sunday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. She was 37.

A news release from the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office said McCready was found dead with what appeared to be a single, self-inflicted wound. She was found on the front porch of a home.

Waren Olmstead, the county coroner, said McCready died Sunday in Heber Springs but couldn't immediately provide further details. He had no information on who was taking care of her two sons.

McCready arrived in Nashville in 1994 with tapes of her karaoke vocals and earned a recording contract with BNA Records.

In 1996, her "Guys Do It All the Time" hit No. 1 and its dig at male chauvinism endeared her to females. Her other hits included "Ten Thousand Angels," also in 1996, and her album by that title sold 2 million copies.

However, personal problems plagued her beginning in 2004 and included a custody battle with her mother over one of her sons.

McCready took her older son Zander from her mother and the boy's legal guardian, Gayle Inge, in late 2011. She fled to Arkansas without permission over what she called child abuse fears. Authorities eventually found McCready hiding in a residence without permission and took the boy into custody.

She and her boyfriend David Wilson had a son, Zayne, in April of 2012. The older son has a different father.

In May 2010, she was hospitalized briefly after police responded to an overdose call at a home in North Fort Myers, Florida, owned by her mother. This followed a stint on "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew," where she declared herself clean from drugs.

In 2004, she was charged with obtaining the painkiller OxyContin fraudulently at a pharmacy. She pleaded guilty and was placed on three years' probation.

She violated the probation with a drunken driving arrest in May 2005. Then she attempted suicide in July 2005, overdosed in September 2005 and slit her wrists again in December 2008.

Also that year, McCready was charged in Arizona with hindering prosecution and unlawful use of transportation. Those charges stemmed from an alleged attempt in June 2005 to purchase two high performance boats, but she claimed she was trying to stop a con man.

Growing up in Fort Myers, she took seven years of private vocal lessons and later sang in karaoke bars.

After getting her recording contract, she did concert appearances with top country stars including George Strait, Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson.

Her other singles included "Maybe He'll Notice Her Now," ''A Girl's Gotta Do (What a Girl's Gotta Do)" and "You'll Never Know."
Translators are a Pox on the FM radio dial.

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by Hoosier Daddy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:52 am

Record producer George 'Shadow' Morton dies

Feb. 16, 2013, 4:47 AM EST


George "Shadow" Morton, the producer who gave girl-group The Shangri-Las their distinctive sound, has died, at age 72.

Grammy Award winner Janis Ian announced the sad news to fans via Facebook on Friday, posting a photo of herself with Morton from 1967.

He produced "Leader of the Pack" for the Shangri-Las and Ian's "Society's Child." Morton's other hits included Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and Vanilla Fudge's "You Keep Me Hangin' On."

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:45 pm

Lakers owner Jerry Buss dies at 80

Fans will remember the real estate mogul for enjoying extraordinary NBA success -- 10 championships in three-plus decades -- but equally important to his legacy was a sense of showmanship.
Jerry Buss, the longtime owner of the Lakers whose penchant for showmanship helped turn the game of basketball into “Showtime” and who led the team to 10 NBA championships, died Monday. He was 80.

A self-made millionaire who built his fortune in real estate, Buss bought the Lakers in 1979. He charted his successful course with marquee players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, Hall of Fame coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, celebrities sitting courtside and Laker Girls dancing during timeouts.

"I really tried to create a Laker image, a distinct identity," Buss said. "I mean, the Lakers are pretty damn Hollywood."



It was a remarkable winning streak for a man who dug his way out of a hardscrabble youth.

A Depression-era baby, Jerry Hatten Buss was born Jan. 27, 1933, in Salt Lake City. His parents divorced when he was an infant.

His mother struggled to make ends meet as a waitress in tiny Evanston, Wyo., and Buss remembered standing in food lines in the bitter cold.

Later, Buss earned a science scholarship to the University of Wyoming. At 19 he married a coed named JoAnn Mueller, and they would eventually have four children: John, Jim, Jeanie and Janie.

By the mid-1950s, the couple had moved to Southern California, where Buss earned a doctorate in chemistry at USC. He worked briefly in the aerospace industry, and in the late 1950s, he and a colleague, Frank Mariani, tried their hand at real estate.

They scraped together a few thousand dollars to buy a 14-unit apartment house in West Los Angeles and, to save money, did all the repairs themselves. Their real estate company kept growing as they invested in residential properties, hotels and office buildings.

In 1979, Buss and his partners bought the Lakers (along with the Forum in Inglewood), the NHL’s Kings and a 13,000-acre ranch in Kern County for $67 million from Jack Kent Cooke.

At the time, the NBA had fallen by the wayside and several teams stood on the brink of bankruptcy.

But to Buss, the Lakers looked like a gem in the coal bin. They had a dominant center in Abdul-Jabbar, and the team picked the effervescent Johnson out of Michigan State in the 1979 NBA draft.

Success came quickly. With former Lakers star Jerry West maturing into one of the most gifted general managers in the league, the team won an NBA championship in Buss’ first season. Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Cooper guided the Lakers to five titles.

The Lakers' next title era came with O’Neal; the precocious Bryant, whom they traded for after he was drafted out of high school; and Jackson as coach. The Lakers won three consecutive championships from 2000 through 2002.

The team then flamed out in the 2004 NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons and traded O’Neal to the Miami Heat. At the same time, Jackson walked away.

After a few more disappointing seasons, Bryant demanded a trade, but Buss stood firm.

The Lakers, with Jackson back as coach and with Pau Gasol added to the team, defeated Orlando for the 2008-09 title. The following season, they beat Boston for another championship. It was their 10th and final title under Buss.

"Jerry Buss helped set the league on the course it is on today," NBA Commissioner David Stern said. "Remember, he showed us it was about 'Showtime,' the notion that an arena can become the focal point for not just basketball, but entertainment. He made it the place to see and be seen."

Former Times staff writer Mark Heisler contributed to this report.

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by EZ103.3FM » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:14 pm

Paul Tanner, Musician With ‘Good Vibrations,’ Dies at 95
By BRUCE WEBER
Published: February 8, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/09/arts/ ... .html?_r=0

Paul Tanner, a former trombonist for the Glenn Miller Ochestra who played an unlikely role in the history of rock ’n’ roll when, using a device he helped invent, he performed the famous electronic accompaniment on the Beach Boys’ signature recording “Good Vibrations,” died on Tuesday (2/5/13) in Carlsbad, Calif. He was 95.

His stepson Douglas Darnall confirmed the death.

Mr. Tanner’s path to the Beach Boys was both circuitous and serendipitous. He played and recorded with Glenn Miller from 1938 until 1942; served, like Miller, in the Army Air Forces during World War II; and, afterward, returned to the band when it was led by Tex Beneke. (Miller was killed in 1944 when the transport plane in which he was a passenger disappeared over the English Channel.)

In the early 1950s he went to California to play on soundtracks and in live performances for ABC Television. He became something of a musician-of-all-trades, taking up a variety of oddball instruments and performing on them when a quirky score called for it, according to Dan Del Fiorentino, a friend and music industry historian. Thus came about Mr. Tanner’s interest in the theremin, an electronic instrument invented by Leon Theremin, a Russian, around 1920.

The device, consisting of two audio oscillators and an amplifier inside a wooden or metal housing, was played by waving one’s hands in proximity to — but not touching — two antennas, one controlling volume and the other controlling pitch.

By moving the hands closer to or farther from the antennas, an expert player could make the theremin sound like one orchestral instrument or another. With its otherworldly timbre, the theremin became associated with spookiness and the supernatural. Mr. Tanner knew of it from its use on the soundtracks for “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound.”

But while recording a film soundtrack one day and watching a theremin player struggle with the device, his hands unable to locate specific pitches, Mr. Tanner, who had no electronics expertise, had an idea.

He contacted an actor friend, Bob Whitsell, who also ran a television repair business, and asked him if he could build an instrument that would replicate the sound of a theremin but with hands-on mechanical controls for volume and pitch rather than antennas. After a false start or two, they produced what became known as the electro-theremin.

Mr. Tanner played it for several years for musical recordings, movie soundtracks (including “Strait-Jacket,” a 1964 thriller with Joan Crawford), television shows (including “My Favorite Martian”) and commercials. He never reproduced or tried to market the device.

How Mr. Tanner ended up playing with the Beach Boys is uncertain, but one version of the story is that Brian Wilson, the group’s leader and chief songwriter, called ABC looking for a theremin player and was directed to Mr. Tanner. On “Good Vibrations,” the instrument created a delirious, rising-in-pitch backdrop to the song’s chorus. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Mr. Tanner also played on two other Beach Boys tracks, “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” and “Wild Honey.”

“Strange group to work with,” Mr. Tanner said in a 2001 interview. “The only one who seemed to have any idea of music at all was Brian Wilson.”

Paul O. W. Tanner was born in Skunk Hollow, Kentucky on Oct. 15, 1917. When he was 6 he moved with his family to Wilmington, Del., where his father was superintendent of a juvenile detention facility. Paul studied piano and took up the trombone at 13.

Mr. Tanner’s first marriage, to Alma Smith, ended with her death in 1981. In addition to his stepson Douglas, his survivors include his wife, the former Jeanette Steele, whom he married in 1984; another stepson, Dick Darnall; two brothers; and two stepgranddaughters.

Mr. Tanner said he declined an invitation by Mr. Wilson to join the Beach Boys on the road. The inventor Robert Moog then created a different machine for the group that was played in performances by the singer Mike Love. Mr. Tanner said he had recognized that Moog synthesizers were the future, so he donated his instrument to a hospital, which used it to test patients’ hearing.

Mr. Tanner was also a composer who wrote several pieces for featured trombone. He wrote numerous books about jazz, including a well-known textbook, “A Study of Jazz.” He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1958, and taught there for the next 23 years, often drawing to his classroom visiting musicians like Herbie Hancock and Stan Kenton. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from U.C.L.A. as well.

“Nowadays they’re so intelligent and ask so many questions, you’re kept on your mettle,” Mr. Tanner said about his students in a 1976 interview with the jazz writer Leonard Feather. “The question I remember best was asked in class one day. One kid said, ‘Professor Tanner, did they have groupies in the swing era?’ I said, ‘Yes, your mama.’ ”
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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:24 am

Actor Lou Myers, best known for his role as ornery restaurant owner Mr. Gaines on the television series "A Different World," has died.

Tonia McDonald of Myers' nonprofit, Global Business Incubation Inc., said Myers died Tuesday night at Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia. She said he was 77. McDonald said Wednesday that Myers had been in and out of the hospital since before Christmas and collapsed recently. An autopsy was planned.

A native of Chesapeake, W.Va., Myers had returned to the state and lived in the Charleston area.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/20 ... z2LXWjXD4g

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:45 pm

C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general who brought frank talk about AIDS into U.S. homes, has died at his home in Hanover, N.H., officials at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth said Monday. He was 96.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... p/1947347/

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by David Paleg » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:31 pm

Van Cliburn, pianist and Cold War hero, dies at 78
Feb 27, 3:59 PM (ET)
By ANGELA K. BROWN

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - For a time in Cold War America, Van Cliburn had all the trappings of a rock star: sold-out concerts, adoring, out-of-control fans and a name recognized worldwide. He even got a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

And he did it all with only a piano and some Tchaikovsky concertos.

The celebrated pianist played for every American president since Harry Truman, plus royalty and heads of state around the world. But he is best remembered for winning a 1958 piano competition in Moscow that helped thaw the icy rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Cliburn, who died Wednesday at 78 after fighting bone cancer, was "a great humanitarian and a brilliant musician whose light will continue to shine through his extraordinary legacy," said his publicist and longtime friend Mary Lou Falcone. "He will be missed by all who knew and admired him, and by countless people he never met."

Full story at Iwon / AP News.

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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by unchoopfan » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:37 pm

Bonnie Franklin, actress (One Day At A Time), 69

NEW YORK (AP) — Bonnie Franklin, the pert, redheaded actress who won fame as a divorced mom on the long-running sitcom One Day at a Time, has died.

Family member say she died Friday (March 1) due to complications from pancreatic cancer. She was 69.

Her family had announced she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2012.

Though she already had stage and TV credits, One Day at a Time made her a star with its premiere in 1975. She played a divorced single mother raising two teenage girls, costars Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips.

The series ran on CBS for nine seasons, spending most of them as a Top 20 hit.

Franklin's recent credits include appearances on The Young and the Restless and the TV Land comedy Hot in Cleveland, which reunited her with Bertinelli, one of that show's regulars.

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