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Author Topic: The Celebrity Obituary Thread  (Read 191078 times)
Brendan
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« on: June 27, 2009, 06:20:21 PM »

This thread has been created to keep news of celebrity passings all in one place. Rather than create a new thread for each of them, we'll just post all that news here. Obviously, news of celebrities who have died who were co-stars or production members for a Clint Eastwood movie can be posted in the Eastwood News Forum.

Sometimes celebrities pass during the year without anyone posting the news here. There is a page here which keeps track of those who have left us:

http://www.imdb.com/DiedInYear?year=2009


** The existing threads for Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett will be left open for discussion/memories **
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 07:13:36 PM by Brendan » Logged
Brendan
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2009, 08:44:12 AM »

Not a BIG celebrity but this is a little weird. I just saw him on The Tonight Show just a few days ago!


Quote
Police: TV pitchman Billy Mays found dead at home
AP



TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa police say Billy Mays, the television pitchman known for his boisterous hawking of products such as Orange Glo and OxiClean, has died. He was 50.

Authorities say Mays was pronounced dead Sunday morning after being found by his wife at home. There were no signs of a break-in, and investigators do not suspect foul play. The coroner's office expects to have an autopsy done by Monday afternoon.

Mays' wife, Deborah Mays, says the family doesn't expect to make any public statements and asked for privacy.

Mays was also featured on the reality TV show "Pitchmen" on the Discovery Channel, which followed Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their marketing jobs.

Discovery Channel spokeswoman Elizabeth Hillman released a statement Sunday extending sympathy to the Mays family.

"Everyone that knows him was aware of his larger-than-life personality, generosity and warmth," Hillman's statement said. "Billy was a pioneer in his field and helped many people fulfill their dreams. He will be greatly missed as a loyal and compassionate friend."
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Brendan
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2009, 11:44:12 AM »

Another great has left us...

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-karl-malden2-2009jul02,0,5658128.story

Quote

Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden dies at 97




By Dennis McLellan
12:17 PM PDT, July 1, 2009


Karl Malden, one of Hollywood's strongest and most versatile supporting actors, who won an Oscar playing his Broadway-originated role as Mitch in "A Streetcar Named Desire," died today. He was 97.

Malden starred in the 1970s TV series "The Streets of San Francisco" and was the longtime American Express traveler's-check spokesman, warning travelers to not leave home without it. He died of natural causes at his home in Brentwood, said his daughter Mila Doerner.

With his unglamorous mug -- he broke his bulbous nose twice playing sports as a teenager -- the former Indiana steel-mill worker realized early on the course his acting career would take.

"I was so incredibly lucky," Malden once told The Times. "I knew I wasn't a leading man. Take a look at this face." But, he vowed as a young man, he wasn't going to let his looks hamper his ambition to succeed as an actor.

In a movie career that flourished in the 1950s and '60s, Malden played a variety of roles in more than 50 films, including the sympathetic priest in "On the Waterfront," the resentful husband in "Baby Doll," the warden in "Birdman of Alcatraz," the outlaw-turned-sheriff in "One-Eyed Jacks," the pioneer patriarch in "How the West Was Won," Madame Rose's suitor in "Gypsy," the card dealerin "The Cincinnati Kid" and Gen. Omar Bradley in "Patton."

His varied performances established Malden, former Times film critic Charles Champlin once wrote, "as an Everyman, but one whose range moved easily up and down the levels of society and the IQ scale, from heroes to heavies and ordinary, decent guys just trying to get along."

Malden was a longtime holdout to television until he agreed to play Lt. Mike Stone on the ABC police drama "The Streets of San Francisco," with Michael Douglas. The series, which ran from 1972 to 1977, earned Malden four consecutive Emmy nominations as lead actor in a drama series.

When he finally won his sole Emmy, it was for outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or special, as a man who begins to suspect that his daughter was murdered by her husband in the fact-based 1984 miniseries "Fatal Vision."

Malden also starred in "Skag," a short-lived 1980 NBC dramatic series in which he played a Serbian family man and union foreman at a Pittsburgh steel mill.

But for all his movie and television roles, it was primarily the series of American Express traveler's-check commercials Malden made between 1973 and 1994 that gave him his greatest public recognition. (Even Johnny Carson, complete with fake proboscis, dark suit and short-brimmed fedora, spoofed Malden's sober-faced commercials on "The Tonight Show.")

"After 50 years of doing all those other things in the business, wherever I go, the one thing people will say to me is, 'Don't leave home without it,' " Malden said in 1989. "What am I going to say? It's kind of frustrating in a way, but at the same time, American Express has been very good to me, and it's given me independence. I don't have to jump at anything and everything that comes my way."

He was born Mladen Sekulovich in Chicago on March 22, 1912, the son of an immigrant mother from the nation that later became Czechoslovakia and a Serbian father, who delivered milk for 38 years.

Malden spoke little English until after his family moved from their Serbian enclave in Chicago to the steel-mill community of Gary, Ind., when he was 5.

Malden's father was a theater lover who staged Serbian plays in the church and in Serbian patriotic organizations in Gary. As a teenager, Malden played heavies -- usually Turks, complete with a big, black mustache -- in his father's productions.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 11:46:40 AM by Brendan » Logged
Gant
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2009, 12:48:47 PM »

Wow.. sad news.. but he had a good run..

I remember him well from Streets.. and always thought he was fantastic in Streetcar..
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2009, 01:12:52 PM »

That is sad.  I realy liked him.
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El bueno
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2009, 09:34:53 PM »

A great actor that will be missed :(
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Richard Earl
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2009, 08:19:13 PM »

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/theampersand/archive/2008/03/02/guitarist-jeff-healy-dies-at-41.aspx


I did not know that the blues guitarist Jeff Healey passed on several months ago. This guy was amazing. He was the guitar player in Roadhouse. I saw him live at  Dallas Alley back in 89 or 90. He was a hell of a player and his music will be missed.

Check out his playing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoBHag7ykh4
« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 08:41:56 PM by Richard Earl » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2009, 09:23:54 PM »

Mollie Sugden 86.   Those of you who remember Are You Being Served will know what a fantastic comedy actress she was.  Her timing was impecable.

Pictured with the cast of Are You Being Served Mollie is on the left.  Standing beside Mollie is Wendy Richards who passed away a few months ago.

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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2009, 11:12:53 PM »

R.I.P Mollie.. a great comic actress....
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2009, 08:19:20 AM »

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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2009, 08:24:55 AM »

Mollie Sugden 86.   Those of you who remember Are You Being Served will know what a fantastic comedy actress she was.  Her timing was impecable.

I always liked that show. I would watch it on PBS on Saturday nights. It was interesting that we were watching it here in the U.S.  about 15 years after it was filmed.  It wasn't as hilarious (at least to me) as Monty Python, Benny Hill, or Fawlty Towers, but after I got familiar with the characters, I thought it was quite funny.  Mrs. Slocum's  references to her cat were always hysterical, along with the responses from her coworkers. ::)

R.I.P. Molly and Wendy. Thanks for the laughs! O0
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2009, 10:41:09 AM »

Many years after the show had finished I was in San Francisco and was shocked to find out the show was a bit of a cult favorite..   :o
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2009, 01:39:58 PM »

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, dead at 93

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Robert McNamara, ex-defense secretary, dies
updated 11:27 a.m. EDT, Mon July 6, 2009


Robert McNamara meets with President Kennedy in the Oval Office in 1963.

(CNN) -- Former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, a key architect of the U.S. war in Vietnam under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, has died at age 93, according to his family.

 McNamara was a member of Kennedy's inner circle during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the brink of nuclear war.

But he became a public lightning rod for his management of the war in Vietnam, overseeing the U.S. military commitment there as it grew from fewer than 1,000 advisers to more than half a million troops.

Though the increasingly unpopular conflict was sometimes dubbed "McNamara's War," he later said both administrations were "terribly wrong" to have pursued military action beyond 1963.

"External military force cannot reconstruct a failed state, and Vietnam, during much of that period, was a failed state politically," he told CNN in a 1996 interview for the "Cold War" documentary series. "We didn't recognize it as such."

A native of San Francisco, McNamara studied economics at the University of California and earned a master's degree in business from Harvard. He was a staff officer in the Army Air Corps during World War II, when he studied the results of American bombing raids on Germany and Japan in search of ways to improve their accuracy and efficiency.

After the war, he joined the Ford Motor Company and became its president in November 1960 -- the first person to lead the company from outside its founding family. A month later, the newly elected Kennedy asked him to become secretary of defense, making him one of the "whiz kids" who joined the young president's administration.

In October 1962, after the discovery of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, McNamara was one of Kennedy's top advisers in the standoff that followed. The United States imposed a naval "quarantine" on Cuba, a Soviet ally, and prepared for possible airstrikes or an invasion. The Soviets withdrew the missiles in exchange for a U.S. guarantee not to invade Cuba, a step that allowed Soviet premier Nikita Kruschev to present the pullback as a success to his own people.

In the 2003 documentary "The Fog of War," McNamara told filmmaker Errol Morris that the experience taught American policymakers to "put ourselves inside their skin and look at us through their eyes." But he added, "In the end, we lucked out. It was luck that prevented nuclear war."

McNamara is credited with using the management techniques he mastered as a corporate executive to streamline the Pentagon, computerizing and smoothing out much of the U.S. military's vast purchasing and personnel system. And in Vietnam, he attempted to use those techniques to measure the progress of the war.

Metrics such as use of "body counts" and scientific solutions such as using the herbicide Agent Orange to defoliate jungles in which communist guerrillas hid became trademarks of the conflict. McNamara made several trips to South Vietnam to study the situation firsthand.

He, Johnson and other U.S. officials portrayed the war as a necessary battle in the Cold War, a proxy struggle to prevent communism from taking control of all of Southeast Asia. But while they saw the conflict as another front in the standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union, which backed communist North Vietnam, McNamara acknowledged later that they underestimated Vietnamese nationalism and opposition to the U.S.-backed government in Saigon.

"The conflict within South Vietnam itself had all of the characteristics of a civil war, and we didn't look upon it as largely a civil war, and we weren't measuring our progress as one would have in what was largely a civil war," he told CNN.

Casualties mounted, as did domestic opposition to the war. In 1965, a Quaker anti-war protester, Norman Morrison, set himself on fire outside McNamara's office window. In 1967, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched on the Pentagon, which was ringed with troops.

By November 1967, McNamara told Johnson that there was "no reasonable way" to end the war quickly, and that the United States needed to reduce its forces in Vietnam and turn the fighting over to the American-backed government in Saigon. By the end of that month, Johnson announced he was replacing McNamara at the Pentagon and moving him to the World Bank. But by March 1968, Johnson had reached virtually the same conclusion as McNamara. He issued a call for peace talks and announced he would not seek re-election.

After leaving the Pentagon in early 1968, McNamara spent 12 years leading the World Bank. He said little publicly about Vietnam until the publication of a 1995 memoir, "In Retrospect."

"You don't know what I know about how inflammatory my words can appear," he told Morris. "A lot of people misunderstand the war, misunderstand me. A lot of people think I'm a son of a [email protected]"
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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2009, 03:59:12 PM »

Joe Bowman, Sharpshooter, R.I.P.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/us/06bowman.html

Quote
July 6, 2009
Joe Bowman, Sharpshooter, Dies at 84
By WILLIAM GRIMES

It is not easy to whip out a pistol and split a playing card edgewise at 30 paces. Joe Bowman did it routinely, and he had a few more tricks up his elaborately embroidered western sleeve.

“I remember him throwing a washer up in the air, firing a pistol, and saying, ‘I shot right through it,’ ” said Dan Pastorini, a former quarterback for the Houston Oilers and a longtime friend of Mr. Bowman. “I laughed and said, ‘Sure, Joe.’ So he wrapped a piece of tape over the hole in the washer, threw it in the air and fired again. The tape was gone.”

Joe Bowman, known as the Straight Shooter and the Master of Triggernometry, died June 29 in Junction, Tex., where he had stopped for the night after putting on a fast-draw and sharpshooting exhibition for the Single Action Shooting Society’s annual convention near Albuquerque. He was 84 and lived in Houston.

The cause was a heart attack, his wife, Betty Reid-Bowman, said.

At gun shows and rodeos all over the country, Mr. Bowman dazzled audiences with his fancy gunplay and sharpshooting with pistol and rifle. In one of his more elaborate stunts, he put two lighted candles on either side of an ax blade, balanced a .22-caliber bullet on the blade and then split the bullet with a rifle shot. The two pieces of the bullet extinguished the candle flames.

Mr. Bowman’s way with a gun made him famous. In the United States, he trained television and film actors to draw a gun at lightning speed and twirl a six-shooter with authority. In “Lonesome Dove,” Robert Duvall hefted the heavy Walker revolver once used by the Texas Rangers thanks to lessons from Mr. Bowman.

The rest of this obit is worth a read. I don't know if Bowman ever crossed paths with Clint, but it wouldn't be surprising.
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2009, 08:28:52 AM »

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/football/nfl/07/07/mcnair.ap/index.html

RIP Steve McNair

I'm still in shock over the circumstances of his death.
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2009, 02:30:10 PM »

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/football/nfl/07/07/mcnair.ap/index.html

RIP Steve McNair

I'm still in shock over the circumstances of his death.

I am as well Conan.
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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2009, 04:51:06 PM »

Walter Cronkite, R.I.P. ...  :'(

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/us/18cronkite.html

Quote
Walter Cronkite, who pioneered and then mastered the role of television news anchorman with such plain-spoken grace that he was called the most trusted man in America, died Friday, his family said. He was 92.

From 1962 to 1981, Mr. Cronkite was a nightly presence in American homes and always a reassuring one, guiding viewers through national triumphs and tragedies alike, from moonwalks to war, in an era when network news was central to many people’s lives.
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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2009, 02:49:16 AM »

 Frank McCourt, ‘Angela’s Ashes’ Author, Dies at 78 ............R.I.P

 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/books/20mccourt.html?_r=1&hp

 
Quote
By WILLIAM GRIMES
Published: July 19, 2009
Frank McCourt, a former New York City schoolteacher who turned his miserable childhood in Limerick, Ireland, into a phenomenally popular, Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, “Angela’s Ashes,” died in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 78 and lived in Manhattan and Roxbury, Conn.
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2009, 09:29:52 PM »

Henry Allingham dies at 113.   Since June he has been the oldest man in the world and the last remaining surviving founder member of the RAF.  Also the last surviving witness to the Battle of Jutland.   Born when Queen Victoria was on the throne he saw amzing changes in his long life.

Rest in Peace Henry.

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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2009, 09:31:07 PM »

Walter Cronkite was well known all over the world and his passing is sad.    May he rest in Peace.
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