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

Post by just saying » Wed May 08, 2013 7:55 pm

Jeanne Cooper dead; 'Young and Restless' star was 84

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/20 ... z2SkTJoXzq

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

Post by genlock » Mon May 13, 2013 6:35 pm

Popular psychologist, columnist, and television and film personality Joyce Brothers has died. She was 85.

Longtime publicist Sanford Brokaw says Brothers died Monday in New York City.

She was a pioneer of the television advice show.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/13/ps ... z2TDNoGVMI
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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by genlock » Thu May 16, 2013 4:56 pm

LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. — Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle, 71, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Thursday, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident occurred at 12:02 p.m. at Forest Lawn Cemetery on Highway 150 East in Boger City, a community in Lincoln County.

The Lincoln County Communications Center received a call apparently from the victim that “there would be a dead body and it would be his”.
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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Sat May 18, 2013 6:25 am

US Open champion and CBS analyst Ken Venturi dies
Ken Venturi, who overcame dehydration to win the 1964 U.S. Open and spent 35 years in the booth for CBS Sports, died Friday afternoon. He was 82

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/05/1 ... z2TdegfczG

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

Post by David Paleg » Tue May 21, 2013 4:52 am

Manzarek, founding member of The Doors, dies at 74
May 21, 12:35 AM (ET)
By CHRIS TALBOTT and HILLEL ITALIE

Ray Manzarek, a founding member of the 1960s rock group The Doors whose versatile and often haunting keyboards complemented Jim Morrison's gloomy baritone and helped set the mood for some of rock's most enduring songs, has died. He was 74.

Manzarek died Monday in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his family, said publicist Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald. She said the musician's manager, Tom Vitorino, confirmed Manzarek died after being stricken with bile duct cancer.

Full story at Iwon/AP News.

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

Post by David Paleg » Fri May 24, 2013 6:07 pm

'S.W.A.T.' Star Steve Forrest Dies at 87

Steve Forrest, whose starred as Lt. Dan “Hondo” Harrelson on the 1970s ABC action series S.W.A.T., died peacefully surrounded by family on May 18 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He was 87.

In a career spanning more the 60 years, Forrest frequently was cast as a leading man or “heavy.” An aficionado of the American Western, he delighted in roles that glorified the genre, including guest-starring appearances in such television classics as The Virginian, Bonanza and Gunsmoke.

But it was his role as the hard-hitting yet warmhearted Harrelson on the Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg-produced S.W.A.T. that most endeared Forrest to the American audience. As the leader of the police department’s five-man special weapons and tactics team, he often was seen with his bullhorn in hand, jumping into the large dark gray van shouting the signature line, “Let’s roll!”

As a salute to the show, which aired from February 1975 to April 1976 for 37 episodes, Forrest appeared in a cameo role as the van driver in the film version of S.W.A.T. (2003) that starred Samuel L. Jackson and Colin Farrell.

Forrest was born William Forrest Andrews on Sept. 25, 1925, in Huntsville, Texas, to Annis and Charles Andrews, a Baptist minister. He was the youngest of 13 children; one of his brothers was famed actor Dana Andrews, the star of Laura and The Best Years of Our Lives who died in 1992).

At 18, Forrest enlisted in the military and served with the Army. He attained the rank of sergeant during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. At the end of the war, he moved to Los Angeles and attended UCLA.

Forrest graduated with honors from UCLA in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in theater arts and went to work as a stagehand at the La Jolla Playhouse outside San Diego. It was there, during the summer stock production of Goodbye Again, that he was discovered by Hollywood legend Gregory Peck. The actor cast him in the production and arranged for his first screen test with MGM, where he was placed under contract.

In 1953, Forrest garnered a New Star of the Year award from the Golden Globes for his performance in the Warner Bros. film So Big, playing opposite Jane Wyman and Sterling Hayden. Throughout the ’50s, Forrest landed roles on both the large and small screens, frequently cast on such early TV series as Playhouse 90, Climax! Theater, Lux Video Theater and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

His early films included roles as a P.O.W. opposite Ronald Reagan in MGM’s Prisoner of War (1954), as Robert Taylor’s younger brother in Rogue Cop (1954), as Doris Day’s would-be suitor in It Happened to Jane (1959), as Elvis Presley’s half brother in the Western Flaming Star (1960), as Sophia Loren’s gun-slinging love interest in Heller in Pink Tights (1960) and with John Wayne and an all-star cast in The Longest Day (1962).

Later film and television appearances included North Dallas Forty (1979), Mommie Dearest (1981) with Faye Dunaway, Spies Like Us (1985) with Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd, the miniseries Hollywood Wives (1985), a season in the 1980s on TV’s Dallas, Storyville (1992) with James Spader and Killer: A Journal of Murder (1995) with James Woods.

A trained vocalist, Forrest made his Broadway debut as budding prizefighter Bob Stanton in the 1958 production of The Body Beautiful opposite Mindy Carson, Jack Warden and Brock Peters.

In 1965, Forrest relocated to London with his family to star as John Mannering, the international antique dealer-cum-secret agent in the ITC crime drama The Baron. The program, which lasted 30 episodes, was ITV's first in color using real actors for an entire season and was exported to ABC in the States.

An avid and accomplished golfer, Forrest frequently played in charity tournaments around the world. In 1976, he competed on the American team at the Bing Crosby Great Britain vs. U.S.A. Tournament at the Glen Eagles course in Scotland.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Christine, sons Michael, Forrest and Stephen and grandchildren Samantha, Emily, Aubrey and Alex.

A service will be held at 10 a.m. May 30 at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Griffin Memorial Park in Westlake Village, Calif.

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

Post by David Paleg » Mon May 27, 2013 8:02 pm

Developer and philanthropist John Q. Hammons passes away at age 94
by KY3 News and the Associated Press jscherder@ky3.com
8:49 a.m. CDT, May 27, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — John Q. Hammons, a prominent hotel developer and southwest Missouri philanthropist who rose from a poor Depression-era childhood to build a national real estate empire, has died. He was 94.

Hammons, who actively led his company well into his 80s, died peacefully Sunday at a nursing home in Springfield, said Sheri Davidson Smith, a spokeswoman for John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts.

Hammons' first business — a company that sold mortar-less bricks — went bust in the late 1940s, saddling him with debt. He paid off that debt after two years and recovered to build housing subdivisions in southwest Missouri over the next decade before purchasing 10 Holiday Inn franchises with a partner in 1958 from the company's founder.

He went on to build 200 hotels nationwide, including Embassy Suites, Marriotts, Radissons and Holiday Inns. Hammons also developed an expansive real estate portfolio associated with those hotels of golf courses, restaurants, convention centers, a casino and riverboat gambling. He avoided big-city locations in favor of properties in college towns and state capitals.

Full story at KY3 News.

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

Post by just saying » Thu May 30, 2013 11:50 am

Curtis Price, Former WVU Basketball great has died.
http://www.wvgazette.com/Sports/201305300054.
the full story:
http://wvmetronews.com/former-mountaine ... full-life/

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

Post by genlock » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:39 pm

Jean Stapleton has died at 90.




NEW YORK – Jean Stapleton, the stage-trained character actress who played Archie Bunker's far better half, the sweetly naive Edith, in TV's groundbreaking 1970s comedy "All in the Family," has died. She was 90.

Stapleton died Friday of natural causes at her New York City home surrounded by friends and family, her children said Saturday.

Little known to the public before "All In the Family," she co-starred with Carroll O'Connor in the top-rated CBS sitcom about an unrepentant bigot, the wife he churlishly but fondly called "Dingbat," their daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) and liberal son-in-law Mike, aka Meathead (Rob Reiner).

Stapleton received eight Emmy nominations and won three times during her eight-year tenure with "All in the Family." Produced by Norman Lear, the series broke through the timidity of U.S. TV with social and political jabs and ranked as the No. 1-rated program for an unprecedented five years in a row. Lear would go on to create a run of socially conscious sitcoms.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/20 ... z2V0FZUTHO
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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by genlock » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:15 am

David "Deacon" Jones, the original sackmaster, has died.

The Hall of Fame defensive end credited with terming the word sack -- for how he knocked down quarterbacks -- was 74.

The Washington Redskins said Jones died of natural causes at his home in Southern California on Monday night.
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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by just saying » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:27 pm

Esther Williams, a teenage swimming champion who became an enormous Hollywood star in a decade of watery MGM extravaganzas, died on Thursday in Beverly Hills, Calif. She was 91.

Esther Williams had one contribution to make to movies — her magnificent athletic body,” the film critic Pauline Kael wrote. “And for over 10 years MGM made the most of it, keeping her in clinging, wet bathing suits and hoping the audience would shiver.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/movie ... d=all&_r=0

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

Post by David Paleg » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:16 pm

James Gandolfini, 'The Sopranos' Star, Dead at 51
Yahoo! TV
By Dave Nemetz


Terrible news for TV fans: James Gandolfini, who played mobster Tony Soprano on HBO's seminal drama "The Sopranos," died suddenly today at the age of 51.

Gandolfini was traveling in Italy on vacation when he fell ill; conflicting reports have him suffering either a heart attack or a stroke. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, and an eight-month-old daughter, Liliana, as well as a son, Michael, from a previous marriage.

HBO confirmed his death in a statement: "We're all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth, and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us."

Gandolfini won three Emmys and one Golden Globe for his performance as Tony Soprano on the acclaimed HBO drama — a complex, sometimes villainous role that launched the current wave of TV antiheroes. "The Sopranos" remains HBO's highest-rated series ever, with 13.4 million viewers tuning in for the Season 4 premiere in 2002.

In addition to "The Sopranos," Gandolfini appeared in dozens of movies, including memorable supporting turns in "True Romance," "Get Shorty," and last year's "Zero Dark Thirty."

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

Post by David Paleg » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:16 pm

'Family Ties' creator Gary David Goldberg dies
Jun 24, 4:17 PM (ET)
By FRAZIER MOORE


NEW YORK (AP) - Gary David Goldberg, who created the 1980s sitcom hit "Family Ties" and expanded into feature films, has died.

Goldberg died of brain cancer in Montecito, Calif., on Saturday, days before his 69th birthday, The New York Times reported.

Goldberg's TV successes also included the ABC comedy "Spin City," which in 1996 reunited him with "Family Ties" breakout star Michael J. Fox as the deputy mayor of New York City.

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

Post by cgarison » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:05 pm

Doug Engelbart, Who Foresaw the Modern Computer, Dies at 88
BY CADE METZ07.03.135:21 PM


Douglas Engelbart, the father of the computer mouse and so much more, receiving the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in December 2000. Photo: The White House
Douglas Engelbart — the father of the computer mouse and so many of the other basic concepts that drive our personal machines and the modern internet — has died at the age of 88.

According to an email from his daughter, posted to a mailing list dedicated to classic computers, Engelbart died “peacefully” in his sleep at his home in Atherton, California.

In the late 1960s, at the Stanford Research Institute, or SRI, in Menlo Park, California, Engelbart oversaw the creation of NLS, a system that provided instant communication over a computer network — including what he now call video conferencing — and paired a mouse with a graphical user interface 15 years before the arrival of the Apple Macintosh.

“Even way back then, we already had the concept of multiple windows,” Engelbart told this reporter in 2005. “Any one application could manage multiple windows, and you could easily move objects, paragraphs, and words between them.”

Short for “oN Line System,” NLS directly inspired much of the seminal personal computing research at the famed Xerox PARC research center in the mid- to late-1970s, which, in turn, helped spawn the Mac.

“He had this vision of online systems helping society solve their problems,” says Stuart Card, who worked at Xerox PARC alongside many of Engelbart’s former SRI researchers and regularly brought the man inside PARC to discuss the concepts behind his online system. “But, also, he actually built systems that had so many of the specific components that became to be so important today — not to mention him just realizing the notion of having people working together on an online system. When you consider the crude type of computer equipment he had to work with, it was amazing.”

According to John Markoff of The New York Times, you can trace the roots of NLS to a moment in December 1950, when Engelbart, working at the Ames Research Center, a government aerospace lab, envisioned himself sitting in front of a “large computer screen full of different symbols.” Apparently, he was inspired by the radar consoles he used in Navy during the Second World War.

After completing a PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, he formed a new research group at SRI, backed by the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA, and the Air Force, and it was there he set to work on NLS.

Engelbart first revealed his creation to the rest of the world in 1968, at an event in San Francisco, about an hour’s drive north from SRI, and the unveiling, before many of the world’s leading computer scientists, has since become known as “The Mother Of All Demos”.

That December day, Engelbart not only provided a peek into the future of video conferencing, he showed off something much like today’s “desktop sharing” tools, which let you visit someone else’s computer from afar, and “hypertext,” those links that let us so easily jump from page to page on the internet.

At the time, the demo wasn’t exactly recognized as a work of genius. During an event in 2008 celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Mother Of All Demos, Bill Paxton — an SRI researcher who was also part of the demo — said that 90 per cent of the computer science community looked at Engelbart as “a crackpot.”

“It’s hard to believe now, but at the time, even we had trouble understanding what he was doing,” he said, referring to Engelbart’s fellow researchers. “Think of everyone else out there.”

Even his boss failed to grasp the importance of his work. At that same anniversary celebration, Bob Taylor — the NASA program manager who oversaw at least some of SRI’s funding — remembered that Engelbart’s immediate boss flew cross-country just before the demo to ask him a single question. “He came into my office and he said: ‘I want to talk to you about Doug. Why are you funding this guy?” remembered Taylor, who also played a key role in the creation of the ARPAnet (the forerunner of the internet) and Xerox PARC.

Nonetheless, the demo went ahead — and the seeds were sown. In the audience that day in 1969, “shivering like mad, with a 104 degree temperature,” was a young man named Alan Kay. Kay would go on to join Xerox PARC, where he worked on the research lab’s seminal Alto computer and the groundbreaking object-oriented programming environment known as SmallTalk. He was among the few who saw the demo — and Engelbart — for what they were.

“He was one of the very few people very early on who were able to understand not only that computers could do a lot of things that were very familiar, but that there was something new about computers that allow us to think in a very different way — in a stronger way,” Kay said during the 40th anniversary celebration.

According to Stuart Card, Engelbart wasn’t the best at conveying his ideas to others, but the ideas were there, in spades. “He had this way of being vague,” Card says. “But on the other hand…he had this depth of understanding, a vision of the future. It was hard for people to grasp, but he not only had the vision, he instantiated it.”

In addition to influencing much of the work at PARC, Engelbart and his team would help bootstrap the ARPAnet. SRI was one of the first two nodes on the government-funded research network — the other was at UCLA — and, yes, it ran NLS. “As a junior staffer responsible for documentation at the UCLA Arpanet project, I used the SRI-ARC NLS system tools over the net. Partly for the capabilities, but partly because it was always a cool group to interact with,” David Crocker wrote on a mailing list, after hearing of Engelbart’s death.

The internet would go on to deliver many of Engelbart’s ideas to a mass audience. But in Kay’s mind, the rest of the world still hasn’t caught up to the man’s original version. NLS was built to capture the power of “collective intelligence,” to give us a deeper way of thinking by way of human interaction, but as Kay said five years ago, the modern machine and the modern web still fall well short of this lofty goal.

“The jury is still out on how long — and whether — people are actually going to understand,” he said, what Engelbart created. But at least we have started to.
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Re: 2013 Obits: R.I.P. and Remembrance thread

Post by Lester » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:39 pm

Dennis Farina, a former Chicago cop who as a popular actor played a cop on "Law & Order," has died.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv ... 9859.story

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

Post by David Paleg » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:25 am

'Private Benjamin' actress Eileen Brennan dies
Reuters
By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - American actress Eileen Brennan, best known for her Oscar-nominated role in the 1980 film "Private Benjamin," has died from bladder cancer. She was 80.

Los Angeles-born Brennan died on Sunday at her home in Burbank, a Los Angeles suburb, surrounded by her family, said Kim Vasilakis, a media representative for the actress.

"Our family is so grateful for the outpouring of love and respect for Eileen," Brennan's family said in a statement. "She was funny and caring and truly one of a kind. Her strength and love will never be forgotten. She will be greatly missed by all of us."

Brennan earned a best supporting actress Oscar nomination in 1981 for her role as U.S. Army Captain Doreen Lewis in the comedy "Private Benjamin," starring alongside Goldie Hawn.

"No one ever made me laugh more! Now I cry," Hawn wrote on Twitter about Brennan. "Please keep singing, darling, from on high."

Brennan reprised the role of Doreen in the TV adaptation of the film from 1981 to 1983, for which she won an Emmy award and a Golden Globe.

The actress also appeared in TV series such as "Murder, She Wrote," "7th Heaven" and "Will & Grace," and last appeared in the 2011 comedy film "Naked Run."

Brennan is survived by two sons, Sam and Patrick, and two grandchildren.

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

Post by David Paleg » Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:31 am

Longtime USA Today music critic Steve Jones dies
Aug 2, 9:42 PM (ET)

HERNDON, Va. (AP) - USA Today reports that its longtime music critic, Steve Jones, who impressed people with his mental warehouse of music history and his unflappable cool, has died. He was 57.

Jones, whose career spanned nearly 28 years at the paper, died at his Herndon, Va., home Friday morning after a long illness.

The newspaper says he introduced readers to a variety of artists and trends, shedding light on the cultural and artistic significance.

Executive editor Susan Weiss says: "Steve had it all - talent, integrity, intelligence and a huge heart."

Jones joined the paper in 1985. He interviewed legends such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and James Brown, as well as contemporary superstars like Jay Z, Kanye West and Alicia Keys.

Jones graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1978 with a journalism degree.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Michael Ansara passed away at the age of 91

StarTrek.com is saddened to report that veteran character actor and iconic Star Trek guest star Michael Ansara passed away on July 31 at the age of 91 following a long illness.

Ansara had a remarkably long and prolific career that spanned from 1944 to 2001 and included Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Broken Arrow (on which he starred as Cochise), The Fugitive, Gunsmoke, I Dream of Jeannie, It's Alive, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote, Babylon 5 and such late-career animated projects as Batman, SubZero, Batman Beyond and his final credit, 2001's Batman: Vengeance; he voiced Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze in all of those Batman iterations.

Star Trek fans, of course, embraced Ansara for his performance as the Klingon commander, Kang, in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Day of the Dove." Later, when Star Trek exploded into a cultural phenomenon, Ansara became a favorite at conventions and on cruises. Decades passed and, in 1994, Ansara made a triumphant return to televised Trek, reprising his role as Kang in the Deep Space Nine hour "Blood Oath." Ansara played Kang yet again in the 1996 Voyager episode "Flashback" and portrayed an entirely different character, Lwaxana Troi's Tavnian spouse, Jeyal, in the 1996 Deep Space Nine episode "The Muse."

Ansara was predeceased in 2001 by Matthew, his son with second wife, I Dream of Jeannie actress Barbara Eden. He is survived by wife, Beverly Kushida. StarTrek.com sends our condolences to Ansara's family, friends, colleagues and many fans.

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

Post by David Paleg » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:21 am

Art Donovan, hall of fame defensive tackle for Baltimore Colts, dies at age 88
By Frank Schwab | Shutdown Corner

Art Donovan was probably better known for his funny stories about playing in the NFL than actually playing in the NFL.

It might say something about how good of a storyteller Donovan was that he overshadowed his own impressive playing career.

Donovan died Sunday. Donovan was a longtime defensive tackle for the Baltimore Colts, and a Pro Football Hall of Fame member. His Pro Football Hall of Fame bio said he was 88 years old.News of his death spread during the Hall of Fame preseason game on Sunday night.

Donovan had a unique road to NFL stardom, which came through in some of his famous stories. He was a 26-year-old rookie. A stint in World War II pushed his football career back. He was on three teams his first three pro seasons, before he finally stuck with the Colts in 1953.

He got a late start, but made up for it. From 1954-57, Donovan was a first-team All-Pro every year. He was second-team All-Pro in 1958 and 1960. He retired after the 1961 season. He was part of Colts championship teams in 1958 and 1959, the first two title teams in Colts history, and played in the famous NFL Championship Game against the Giants in Yankee Stadium at the end of the 1958 season. He was the first Colts player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Donovan's laughter and delivery made him even more famous after his playing career was done. He was a regular on television, including 10 guest appearances on David Letterman's talk show, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Donovan died of a respiratory ailment, the Sun reported.

"The only weight I ever lifted weighed 24 ounces," Donovan said in one of his many one-liners, according to the Sun. "It was a Schlitz. I always replaced my fluids."

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

Post by David Paleg » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:01 pm

Rep: Jazz keyboardist George Duke dies at 67
Aug 6, 12:58 PM (ET)
By MESFIN FEKADU

NEW YORK (AP) - George Duke, the Grammy-winning jazz keyboardist and producer whose sound infused acoustic jazz, electronic jazz, funk, R&B and soul in a 40-year-plus career, has died. He was 67.

A representative for Duke said the performer died Monday night in Los Angeles. Duke was being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Duke's son, Rashid, thanked his father's fans in a statement Tuesday.

"The outpouring of love and support that we have received from my father's friends, fans and the entire music community has been overwhelming," he said. "Thank you all for your concern, prayers and support."

Duke was born in San Rafael, Calif. He appeared on a number of Frank Zappa albums and played in the Don Ellis Orchestra, Cannonball Adderley's band and with jazz musician Stanley Clarke. Duke also played keyboard on Michael Jackson's multiplatinum 1979 album, "Off the Wall."

Full story at AP/Iwon News.

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

Post by David Paleg » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:02 am

Margaret Pellegrini, One of the Last ‘Wizard of Oz’ Munchkins, Dies at 89
By Matt McDaniel | Movie Talk

Margaret Pellegrini, who staked a claim in cinematic history when she was just 16 years old as one of the residents of Munchkinland in "The Wizard of Oz," died Wednesday at the age of 89 in Arizona. According to a spokesperson for the few surviving actors who appeared in the 1939 classic, Pellegrini was best known as one of the "Flower Pot" Munchkins who greet Dorothy (Judy Garland) when her house lands in Oz.

Pellegrini told CBS5 in Phoenix earlier this year that she was spotted by a talent scout at a state fair when she was only 13, and a few years later she was invited to take a train to Hollywood to appear in the movie. She actually shows up in the Munchkinland sequence twice, once with a hat shaped like a flower pot and later as one of the "Sleepyheads."

Pelligrini continued to take part in "Oz" related events throughout her life. She was present in 2007 when the remaining Munchkins were given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was also named the Grand Marshall of this year's annual "Oz-Stravaganza" parade in Chittenango, NY, but health issues prevented her from attending. Pelligrini was a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

Of the 124 actors who appeared as Munchkin's in the original production, there are now only two known survivors 95-year-old Ruth Duccini (who played a villager) and 93-year-old Jerry Maren (who was the green-clad middle member of the Lollipop Guild).

Of course, "The Wizard of Oz" the film goes on in perpetuity. In fact, it will be back in theaters in IMAX 3D for the first time next month. The new, large-format 3D version will premiere at the remodeled Chinese Theater (the same place the original film premiered 75 years ago) on September 15, and it will be in IMAX venues for one week starting September 20.

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