ARTIE SHAW (12/30/04) - Musicain and Band Leader. Age 94.
Mr. Shaw was one of a handful of band leaders who epitomized the Big Band era. Artie also
married more than a few times. His wives included Ava Gardner and Lana Turner. Shaw's
recording of "Begin the Beguine" is known the world over. Now he'l be in the box pine.
JERRY ORBACH (12/28/04) - Actor. Age 69. Mr. Orbach was a versatile performer whose work on Broadway, in the movies, and on television made both his face and his voice easily recognized. Jerry played lead cop, Lennie Briscoe, on TV's "Law & Order." He performed in stage hits such as "Carnival," "Promises, Promises," "Chicago" and "42nd Street." He was in the original cast of the "The Fantasticks." Jerry appeared in "Dirty Dancing," "Prince of the City," "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and was the voice of the candle, Lumiere, in "Beauty and the Beast." Be our guest, be our guest, give this actor peaceful rest. Though his vocal cords were stellar, seems his prostate was a pest!
REGGIE WHITE (12/26/04) - Athlete. Age 43. Mr. White is among the greatest defensive players in NFL history. Reggie played with Philly, Green Bay, and Carolina. When he retired in 2000 he held the record as the all time leader in sacks, 198. Unfortunately, he got sacked this time.
JOHNNY OATES (12/24/04) - Baseball Manager. Age 58. Mr. Oates brought the Texas Rangers to their first three post season games. Johnny also spent some time with the Orioles in the early 1990s. Mr. Oates had been suffering from brain cancer for 3 years. We took a lot of crap about Johnny. See his daughter stumbled across our page awhile back and didn't like what she saw. We can only offer this, two of our players have died of brain cancer. Both were nice people with great senses of humor. Diseases are awful, death is painful, but life is fueled by smiles and the occasional sneer. That's it. It's simple. By all accounts Johnny Oates was a great, thoughtful guy, as we're sure many on our pages were. We hope his family can find a little peace and a little laughter.
JOHN D. BARRYMORE (11/29/04) - Actor. Age 72. John came from an acting family. That likely explains all the addiciton problems and the compulsion to punch people (including spouses). John had movie roles in The Sundowners, High Lonesome, Quebec, The Big Night, and While the City Sleeps. John Barrynomore.
ARTHUR HAILEY (11/24/04) - Author. Age 84. Mr. Hailey made a career out of writing books with character drawn from everyday life. Plus, they made all kinda hokey movies outta this guys books. We're talking Airport, Hotel, Wheels, The Moneychangers and Strong Medicine. Wait 'til you get a load of his next one, Mortuary.
FRED HALE SR. (11/19/04) - World's oldest man. Mr. Hale was old. He was very, very old. We really don't care for these types of list entries, but we allow them none-the-less. BY all accounts this dude was a trooper. He really lived life well into his 90s and was a mere 12 days away from being 114. Now for the scary part, the guy was also the "world's oldest driver" according to Guinness. At 108 the man still drove. Don't worry, he's parked now.
OLD DIRTY BASTARD (11/13/04) - Rapper. Age 35. Russell Jones (aka Old Dirty Bastard) was the wackiest of wacky rappers. Crazy rhymes, nutty behavior, outlandish lifestyle. Oh yeah, lots of drugs too. That might help explain how a 35 year old man drops dead of an apparent heart attack. O.D.B, as he was called, was a founding member of the seminal rap group, Wu Tang Clan. How a black guy gets mixed up with those nut jobs in the Clan, we still can't figure out.
YASSER ARAFAT (11/11/04) - Head of PLO. Aged 75. What can you say about a guy like Yasser? He pretty much invented terrorist hijacking and suicide bombing. Then he found a way to tie them in nicely with the age old practice of hating the Jews. How could we possibly come up with a tag line for such a creative fellow. Oh, here's one......Too little, too late.
LESTER LANIN (11/3/04) - Bandleader. Age 97. Lanin lead a band which played swing, Dixieland, and light rock-nroll. His band performed for presidential inaugurations, Queen Elizabeth's 60th birthday party and get togethers held by some of the richie-richs like the Rockefellers, du Ponts and Chryslers. Lester played at over 20,000 wedding receptions, 7,500 parties, 4,500 proms........and one funeral.
PRINCESS ALICE OF GLOUCSTER (10/29/04) - Princess. Alice was the aunt of Queen Elizabeth II. She was also pretty darn old, 102. The Princess was born on Christmas in 1901. Her real name was Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott. She once went through a looking glass, chased a white rabbit, and attended a tea party with a rather loony hatter. But, of course, those events were in her early years. More recently, she just sat around and gurgled.
CHUCK HILLER (10/20/04) - Baseball Player. Age 70. Mr. Hiller made the National League's first grand slam in a World Series. At the time he played for the Giants, who were up against the Yankees. Man, we love a grand slam. The bacon, eggs and buttered toast. We digress. Chuck Hiller, ground filler.
PAUL NITZE (10/19/04) - Diplomatic and military advisor. Age 97. Mr. Nitze advised eight presidents about the Kremlin during the cold war. Paul was an advocate of the hard line. The guy has a war ship named after him for goodness sake. This guy really shaped the way the U.S, approached the cold war. Then there were those Uber-Mensch and God is Dead things. What was that all about?
BETTY HILL (10/17/04) - Nut Job. Age 85. Ms. Hill made a name for herself by claiming that she and her husband were abducted by aliens. Not the cut your lawn and clean your house kind; the thin body, big head and eyes from another planet kind. There was a book, speaking tours and a TV show about the alleged incident. None, however, adequately recounted the fifth of bourbon and five joints. Crap, we'd have seen aliens too.
CHRISTOPHER REEVE (10/10/04) - Actor. Age 52. Mr. Reeve appeared in numerous well received movies including "Somewhere in Time" and "Deathtrap." However, it was Christopher's performances as The Man of Steel in the "Superman" movies that really made him a household name. Following a horse riding accident in 1995, Mr. Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down. According to the AP, Mr. Reeve's heart gave out while fighting an infection. We, however, suspect the kryptonite seed implantation procedure had something to do with this. Regardless, we're pretty upset about the whole thing. We're taking a few days off from work. Would that be Reevement time?
RODNEY DANGERFIELD (10/5/04) - Comedian. Age 82. Mr. Dangerfield built a career on delivering self deprecating one-liners. That schtick made him huge in television, comedy clubs, and movies. Anyone who has seen Rodney's work in "Caddyshack" and "Back to School" know that this guy was a brilliant comic. Sadly, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rejected Rodney's membership request in 1995. Then, under pressure from his fans, they decided to offer him membership. He declined. After years of getting "no respect," we suppose it's ironic that hundreds will likely show up to pay respect now. Ain't that the way it always is?
JANET LEIGH (10/3/04) - Actress. Age 77. Ms. Leigh appeared with some of the greats: Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne and, of course, Frank Sinatra. However, Janet's most famous movie scene didn't involve any major male leads. It simply involved a shadowy figure outside the shower. A figure with a knife. A "Psycho." Janet often claimed that she couldn't bear to take a shower since the movie. We presume that made Janet a bit unpleasant to be around.
FRANCOISE SAGAN (9/24/04) - Author. Age 69. Ms. Sagan wrote the novel Bonjour Tristesse in six weeks while she was a student at the Sorbonne. She was 18 at the time. The book sold over two million copies and has been translated in to 15 languages. Francoise went on to pen 30 novels, get fined and ordered to seek treatment for cocaine use, and get convicted for tax fraud. Really. Oh yeah, and there was that whole "Cosmos" series too. Heck, didn't she die a few years ago?
RUSS MEYER (9/19/04) - Film Maker. Age 82. Mr. Meyer wrote and directed the classics! Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Mondo Topless, Cherry, Harry & Raquel! and Europe in the Raw. Meyer's pictures inspired the likes of Quentin Tarantino and John Waters. Sure they were considered soft core porn. But let's be honest, that's what's keeping cable TV afloat so there must be a market! There are two reasons folks like Russ' movies. Two big reasons!
SKEETER DAVIS (9/19/04) - Musician. Age 72. Ms. Davis was a pillar of The Grand Ole Opry. Skeeter had over 40 singles hit the country charts. Her best known hit being The End of the World. Although the official cause of death was said to be breast cancer, we've been told that skeeter was smacked hard from behind while she was sucking the blood outta some dude's forearm. Darn Skeeter.
JOHNNY RAMONE (9/15/04) - A Ramone. Age 55. Mr. Ramone was a co-founder of the ground breaking punk act The Ramones. Johnny was the business minded Ramone and a fierce advocate for the band. Apparently Mr. Ramone was fighting prostate cancer for a good bit of time. Then, with twenty, twenty, twenty four hours to go, he asked to be sedated.
RICHARD BUTLER (9/8/04) - Racist. Mr. Butler headed up the Aryan Nation. How'd that happen? Well apparently, Richard was working as an aeronautical engineer when he became fascinated and enthralled with Adolf Hitler and with Christian Identity. Christian Identity is a sect that holds that people of white, northern European ancestry are the real children of God, and that Jews and minorities are inferior. We suppose Jesus woulda gotten a kick outta that, being a Jew and all. If there was a parade down your street with guys in white hoods and you were wondering who the heck planned it.....Chances are the Butler did it.
LAURA BRANIGAN (8/26/04) - Singer. Age 47. Ms. Branigan is best known for her 1980's hit "Gloria." The song was in the top of the charts for 36 weeks. Of course, we never really cared for it. Earlier in her career she sang back up for Leonard Cohen. He did some pretty cool stuff. Anyway, it's come to our attention that it wasn't those VOICES in her head, calling Gloria, it was an aneurysm.
ELISABETH KUBLER-ROSS (8/24/04) - Author. Ms. Kubler-Ross wrote over twenty book on the topic of death and dying. And to think all we could come up with was one lousy web page. Anyway, Elisabeth is the person who defined the five stages of dying as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Apparently, Elisabeth has achieved acceptance.
ROBERT DAVID LION GARDINER (8/23/04) - Sixteenth Lord of Gardiner's Island. No, its not a country. It's a private islands off Long Island. Seems it used to be a pirate stop. Apparently Captain Kidd buried his treasure there. As a reminder of the island's history, we're suggesting Robert be placed in a gold latched chest and buried under the giant X.
CARL MYDANS (8/16/04) - LIFE Photographer. Mr. Mydans was a charter member of LIFE magazine. Carl photographed events including the Great Depression, wars, and politics. Among his more famous photographs were train commuters on Nov. 22, 1963, holding newspapers with the headline "President Shot Dead" and French women being punished for collaboration with the Nazis by having their heads shaved. Read it again. Now repeat after us...."Leave it to the French."
JULIA CHILD (8/13/04) - The French Chef. Ms. Child wasn't French. She was American. Apparently, she was a spy too. Yup, Julia was in the OSS stationed in Europe. She was posing as an administrative assistant (what they used to call a Secretary). She ended up marrying another American spy, Paul Child. While they were stationed in France, she learned to cook. The rest is history. Here's why we loved her: When asked by Jaques Pepin what kind of wine she preferred with picnics Julia replied, "I like beer." Ah, to have such words of wisdom as a homage.
JAMES S. ROCKEFELLER (8/10/04) - Rich Dude. Besides being the grandson of the founder of Standard Oil, James was the former head of what became Citigroup and was the oldest known U.S. Olympic medal winner. The event you wonder? It was crew. USA beat the Canadians in the 1924 Paris games. Also on Rockefeller's team was Dr. Benjamin Spock. You can't make up a better lead line than this... "Okay, Dr. Spock and James Rockefeller are in a boat battling Canadians..."
FAY WRAY (8/9/04) - Actress. Ms. Wray is unquestionably best known as the poor gal who King Kong had a crush on in the 1933 classic, King Kong. In a 1960's interview Fay said this about King Kong "Why, only recently an entire issue of a French magazine was devoted to discussing the picture from its artistic, moral and even religious aspects." And to think, we just took the picture to be about a horny gorilla. Leave it to the French.
PAUL "RED" ADAIR (8/7/04) - Fire Fighter. Mr. Adair didn't just fight fires. He fought major fires. This guy was instrumental in capping Kuwaiti oil wells following the Gulf War. He was also played by The Duke, John Wayne in a motion picture. Red and his teams put out spewing oil and gas fires using explosives, water, bulldozers, mud and concrete. Red worked into his 70s, saying "I've got too many of my friends that retired and went home and got on a rocking chair, and about a year and a half later, I'm always going to the cemetery." Looks like this time it'll be a one way trip.
RICK JAMES (8/6/04) - Musician. Sure Mr. James got arrested and convicted for aggravated assault. Sure he had a drug problem. But let's face it, the dude could play some funk. He was a very freaky guy, the kind you don't take home mother. That, of course, presumes mother isn't a funeral director.
HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON (8/3/04) - Photographer. Mr. Cartier-Bresson was a world renowned photojournalist. He photographed everything from Mahatma Gandhi's funeral to William Faulkner. Henri hated staged photos, opting instead for the "decisive moment" shots that made him famous. In the last 25 years Henri had turned away from the camera to paint. For the record, he's turned away from the painting now also.
ISABEL SANFORD (6/9/04) - Actress. Ms. Sanford is best known as Louise "Weezie" Jefferson on the television show "The Jeffersons." Isabel was the first black woman to receive an Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on that show. This time around she's REALLY movin' on up.
JEFF SMITH (6/9/04) - Frugal Gourmet.
This gourmet could cook you a feast
In a manner that cost you the least.
But along with bok-choys
Jeff Smith liked litte boys.
Seems this chef could have well been a priest.
MARLON BRANDO (6/14/04) - Actor. Mr. Brando played street tough, raw characters at the start of his career. Later, of course, he played bloated mafia types. Marlon tried to act from his inner self, a rather large self to draw from. He was the anti-hero in the movies and he ate the antipasti after the movies. Brando once said, "I am myself and if I have to hit my head against a brick wall to remain true to myself, I will do it." Of course, he muttered shortly there after, "If I have to give up that eclair however, I might be persuaded to change my mind. Let's eat."
ERNEST AVANTS (6/14/04) - Ku Klux Klansman. Age 72. Mr. Avants was recently convicted of a being part of a failed plot to assassinate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966. Part of the plot involved Ernest and two others killing a black sharecropper in Mississippi. Ernest goes to hell.
RAY CHARLES (6/10/04) - Musician. Mr. Charles performed a combination of blues and gospel. Sinatra called him "The Genius." Ray won 12 Grammies. Apparently, he died of complications from liver disease. Man, he didn't even see it coming.
RONALD REAGAN (6/5/04) - Former President. Age 93. Mr. Reagan spearheaded a conservative movement that set the political tone of the 1980s. Ron is credited with hastening the end of the Cold War and revitalizing the Republican Party. Like him or not, ya gotta admit he had some good one liners. Really, "I forgot to duck" and "Evil Empire." Pissers! Did we mention he had Alzheimers disease? Did we mention he died? Ya know, he was president too! Have we met?
ARCHIBALD COX (5/29/04) - Watergate special prosecutor. Age 92. Mr. Cox's persistent digging on Watergate ultimately got him fired. Fortunately, not before he had let the so-called genie out of the bottle. Archie was quite vocal about what he felt was an abuse of executive privilege. Tricky Dick Nixon had Cox fired in October 1973 for Cox's efforts to obtain tape recordings made at the White House. It was the firing of Cox that gave rise to the independent counsel law. In addition, that Courtney Cox is pretty hot, in a scary, thin kinda way.
SAMUEL JOHNSON (5/22/04) - Wax guy. Mr. Johnson became a billionaire by expanding a family owned wax company into a megasupercorporateentity. Surely you've heard of S.C. Johnson Wax. Here's a quote from 'ol Sam, "business should serve a higher purpose in life." That higher purpose involved a shiny chest-of-drawers, clean windows, dead roaches, and, of course, Scrubbing Bubbles. Amen brother.
ARNOLD BECKMAN (5/18/04) - Inventor. Age 104. Mr. Beckman invented the pH meter. Big whoop, huh? Well, that little meter ended up making Arnold a rich guy. He used much of his money to fund university research and build university facilities for the sciences. How the whole soccer and Indian theme got thrown into the mix for that movie "Bend it Like Beckman," we still can't figure out. As far as we can recall that chick didn't even use a pH meter.
TONY RANDALL (5/17/04) - Actor. Mr. Randall is best known as the compulsive neat freak Felix Unger on The Odd Couple. Of course, Tony also starred in Mr. Peepers, One Man's Family, The Tony Randall Show and Love, Sydney. In addition, Mr. Randall appeared on both stage and screen and was the founder and artistic director of the National Actors' Theatre in New York City. Never one to shy away from a performance, Randall fathered a child at the age of 78. Mr. Randall once said, "There's only one thing worse than a man who doesn't have strong likes and dislikes, and that's a man who has strong likes and dislikes without the courage to voice them." Of course, he probably hadn't considered a man who stopped breathing. That's a bit worse than both.
ANNA LEE (5/14/04) - Actress. Age 91. Ms. Lee acted in movies and television for almost 70 years. She is likely best known for a VERY long run on "General Hospital" For the large majority that run, she was wheelchair bound. Anna had her acting breakthrough in "How Green Was My Valley." We're not certain about her valley, but the area next to her headstone is very well kept.
CHARLOTTE BENKNER (5/14/04) - World's second oldest person. Ms. Benkner was 114. Talk about a lousy pick as a "celebrity." It's bad enough people pick the "world's oldest man" or "world's oldest woman" or "oldest American" but, jeesh, "world's second oldest person." What a crock. For the record, the world's oldest person is Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan.
ALAN KING (5/9/04) - Comedian. Mr. King was a well known comedian of the 1950s who built a career talking about moving from the city to the suburbs. Alan later turned to acting appearing in movies and on television. He was also Abbot (host) of the New York Friars Club's celebrity roasts. We liked King's work in the otherwise lame "Casino." Too bad his luck ran out.
ALBERTA MARTIN (5/7/04) - Last widow of a Civil War veteran. Age 97. Well, she was reportedly the last widow of a Civil War veteran. However, we O.B.E. folks know better. Need we remind you all of Morguenolia Blossom Lee? We didn't think so.
BARNEY KESSEL (5/6/04) - Jazz guitarist. Mr. Kessel performed with greats such as Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, and Art Tatum. Barney also worked with the big bands of Artie Shaw, Charlie Barnet and Benny Goodman. And who can forget his great work with Fred in that Soft Soap commercial?
ESTEE LAUDER (4/24/04) - Cosmetics Giant. Ms. Lauder started a home business making face creams and grew it into an international cosmetics empire. Estee once said, "There are no ugly women - only women who don't care or who don't believe they're attractive." Apparently, Estee never got an eyeful of our boudoir on a Sunday morning after a Saturday night at the pub.
MARY MCGRORY (4/21/04) - Columnist/Journalist. Mary worked for the Wshington Post. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her work during Watergate. Mary worked into her 80s and was a fixture of the White House Press Corps. Leonard Downie Jr., the Post's executive editor said of Mary, "She seemed to know everyone in politics, and in many other fields besides." In that vein, Mary's heading to another field full of people.
FRANK MORRISON (4/19/04) - Politician. Age 98. Mr. Morrison was the Governor of Nebraska during the 1960s. He ran for congress five times but was never elected. What made him famous is that he was a pretty left of center Democrat elected to office in a pretty right of center state during some tumultuous times. That, and that whole stint with the Doors.
AARON BANK (4/1/04) - First 10th Special Forces Commander. Mr. Bank is considered by most to be the Father of The Green Berets. It was Aaron who suggested in a memo that the elite fighting group be allowed to wear green berets as a mark of distinction. Although this suggestion was initially turned down by the military, it was authorized several years later by then President Kennedy. Sometime after that fateful decision, numerous aspiring French artists were taken as prisoners of war in what was secretly described as the "Aaron Bank headwear debacle."
LEN VALE ONSLOW (4/??/04) - British Biker Dude. Actually, Mr. Onslow was a 103 year old British biker chap. He built and rode motorcycles up to the age of 101. Is he really a celebrity? No. But he's on a list. However, he didn't get an AP obit so this crappy write up will have to do.
ALISTAIR COOKE (3/29/04) - Broadcaster and TV host. Mr. Cooke hosted a pretty famous British radio program called Letter from America. That particular show ran for 58 years. State side, we know Al as the host of Omnibus and later Masterpiece Theatre. Yup, Al was the guy in the big leather chair. Now he's the guy in the big wooden box.
PETER USTINOV (3/28/04) - Actor. Mr. Ustinov was an Oscar-winning actor. Peter played parts ranging from Nero to Hercule Poirot. He won Academy Awards as best supporting actor in the films Spartacus and Topkapi. Peter also won a Grammy for his narration of Peter and the Wolf. Apparently Peter should have kept a better eye on that wolf, ay?
JAN BERRY (3/26/04) - Musician. Mr. Berry was half of the 1960s surf music duo of Jan and Dean (He was Jan). Jan and Dean were the guys with hits such as Deadman's Curve, Surf City, and The Little Old Lady from Pasadena. Interestingly, Jan's career of writing and singing about California beach life and fast cars was cut short when he racked up his own fast car in 1966, resulting in brain damage. Life long complications from this injury ultimately resulted in his death. Now, Jan Bury.
PRINCESS JULIANA (3/20/04) - Former Dutch Queen. Juliana's full name was Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina. She reigned for 32 years during which she witnessed a social revolution in the Netherlands. Yup, we're talking the three H's....Hookers, Homosexuality, and Hash (oh yeah, there's Euthanasia too but that starts with E). Princess gave up the title "Queen" when she abdicated it to her daughter Beatrix in 1980. During her reign, Juliana was quite interested in social issues making frequent visits to hospitals, convalescent centers, sanatoria, homes for the elderly, children's homes and, most recently, a funeral home.
J.J. JACKSON (3/10/04) - VJ. J.J., along with Martha Quinn, Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, and Alan Hunter, made up the first five video jockeys on MTV from 1981 through 1986. Back then, hold on to your baggy pants hip hoppers, MTV played music videos. Man, what an anachronism that would be today. What would Ashton Kutcher do then (probably not Demi Moore, that's for sure)? Here's another one for ya...Mr. Jackson and his peers were known as "VJs" some twenty years before that term meant the guy from Bombay who was going to take your computer programming job away.
ROBERT PASTORELLI (3/10/04) - Actor. Mr. Pastorelli appeared in several movies and TV shows. However, he is best known as Murphy Brown's painter, Eldin. Apparently this genius of an actor overdosed. Hmm, maybe we should be a little more sympathetic; after six years with Candice Bergen we might shoot a little smack ourselves.
SPALDING GRAY (3/7/04) - Author & Actor. Mr. Gray was known for penning and starring in the autobiographical story Swimming to Cambodia. Spalding also appeared in movies such as The Killing Fields and The Paper. It was Gray's autobiographical monologues that really earned him fame though (that and the fact that he was suicidal). What more can we say about Spalding than that the guy really had balls.
PAUL WINFIELD (3/7/04) - Actor. Mr. Winfield appeared in numerous hit TV shows in the 1960s. However, it was his work in the 1972 movie Sounder that really got him noticed. After that, he went on to play Martin Luther King Jr., Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella. In typical Hollywood fashion, they’d always type cast the black guy.
FRANCES DEE (3/6/04) - Actress. Age 94. Ms. Dee appeared opposite a slew of famous leading men in the 30s and 40s. Most notably, she appeared opposite Maurice Chevalier in one of the first talkie musicals, "The Playboy of Paris." On March 6, 2004 Frances Dee ceased.
JOHN HENRY WILLIAMS (3/6/04) - Son of great ball player. Yup. Mr. Williams really wasn't anything special. Sure he took a stab at baseball. He wasn't that great. Especially when you look at his dad's record. So why is he famous? Well, after his dad, Ted, died, he sued the rest of the Williams family in order to put his dad's head in a cryogenic freezer. Jeesh, kids.
JOAN RIUDAVETS (3/5/04) - Worlds oldest man. Mr. Riudavets was 114 and worked as a shoemaker his entire adult life. Think about it. Joan was born in 1889 and in all the years since no one ever beat the crap outta him for having such a sissy name. Sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction.
CECILY ADAMS (3/4/04) - Actress. Ms. Adams was the daughter of Get Smart television star Don Adams. She was in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, playing the mother of Ferengi bar owner Quark. Cecily also had guest roles in TV shows including Murphy Brown, Party of Five, and Just Shoot Me. More recently she appeared in Just Give Me Lung Cancer.
MARGE SCHOTT (3/1/04) - Baseball Team Owner. Ms. Schott took control of the Cincinnati Reds as the only female owner in the major leagues who had bought a team outright (not inherited it). Now we're willing to give odds that you know the Reds. We'd wager it's because of a certain Manager. Heck, we'd bet on it. Anyway, Marge had a knack for saying the wrong, kinda not so socially acceptable, thing. That's why we're guessing it was the heebs who got her.....or maybe the darkies. Hmm, coulda been the mics or the wops. Nah, it was probably the wetbacks. Who knows.
CLAUDE RYAN (2/9/04) - Canadian Politician. Mr. Ryan fought against Quebec's separation from Canada. You may recall that a certain romance speaking faction up in Canada wanted a break-away in the early 1980s. A similar plan to break-off came up and was defeated in 1995. Although we don't speak for Claude when we say this, it feels swell anyway....Damn French.
JANET FRAME (1/29/04) - Author. Ms. Frame was once considered to be loony as a jay bird. She overcame that and became a well known author, especially in her native New Zealand. In England, a Doctor had found that Janet's schizophrenia was misdiagnosed and that she was just someone who preferred to be alone, and who was different from most other people (that's what we've been telling our doctors for years!). Janet's autobiography was made into the movie "Angel at my Table." An apt title in light of her future meals.
JACK PAAR (1/27/04) - Talk Show Host. Mr. Paar was a talk show host back when that meant something more than two lesbian bikers caught in a love triangle with a pair of midget Siamese twins (Hmm, is that more of a tetrahedron than a triangle?). Jack was the host of the "Tonight Show" prior to Carson. He left that post, at his height, in 1962. Someone once referred to Jack as being "like Peter Pan, if Peter Pan had been written by Mickey Spillane." However, we think Jack is more like Peter Pan, if Peter Pan had been caught by Captain Hook.
BOB KEESHAN (1/22/04) - Captain Kangaroo. Man! What can we say here? We grew up with this guy. The Captain, Mr. Green Jeans. Dang! Bob was also Clarabell the Clown on "The Howdy Doody Show." for several years. Prior to that, he was a page at NBC and was in the Marine Corps. We'll miss this guy. Now the haircut, that we won't miss.
ANN MILLER (1/22/04) - Dancer and actress. Ms. Miller was a child tap dance prodigy who ended up appearing in numerous classic films such as On the Town, Easter Parade and Kiss Me Kate. She also appeared opposite Mickey Rooney in the Broadway show Sugar Babies. Check this out, Ann claimed the tap record of over 500 taps a minute. Maybe it wasn't cancer that got her after all. We suspect tapacardia.
UTA HAGEN (1/14/04) - Actress. Ms. Hagen won a Tony for her role as Georgie in The Country Girl. She was also Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Marlon Brando (Luckily he didn't eat her). Ms. Hagen's stage performances in the 1960s galvanized the Broadway scene. Her 1991 text, A Challenge for the Actor, is used by many aspiring actors. We're guessing the challenge she addresses is breathing.
TUG MCGRAW (1/5/04) - Baseball Player. By all accounts, Mr. McGraw was loopy but a likable guy. He was a left-hander who threw a wicked screwball and coined the phrase, "You Gotta Believe" while with the New York Mets in 1973. If he had only gotten rid of that annoying side kick Baba Looey, he probably woulda been a pretty good sheriff too.
PAUL HOPKINS (1/2/04) - Baseball Player. Mr. Hopkins gave up the record-tying home run to Babe Ruth in 1927. He was also listed as the oldest former major league baseball player by the The Baseball Hall of Fame. He was 99. And you all that that was Barbara Feldon.