SARAH KNAUSS (12/30/99)
- Oldest person in world. Ms. Knauss was the oldest person in the world. That is
to say, she actually had records proving she was born in 1880. Yup, that's darn old! They say, "Only the good die young."
Consequently, we suspect Sarah of being a real shit.
CLAYTON MOORE (12/28/99) - Actor. Mr. Moore played the Lone Ranger in the TV show appropriately named, The Lone Ranger. From his entrance, on trusty steed Silver with The William Tell Overture in the background, to his exit with the requisite, "Who was that masked man?", The Lone Ranger is a piece of Americana. A stiff and motionless piece granted, but a piece none-the-less.
CURTIS MAYFIELD (12/26/99) - Singer/Songwriter. Mr. Mayfield sang with the Impressions and cut a number of great tunes solo. Most notable among his hits is the theme to the movie Superfly, a funk classic. In 1990, Curtis was performing a concert when a lighting rig fell on him injuring his spine. Curtis was left paralyzed. The accident prevented Mayfield from ever playing guitar again. We can only imagine what this most recent turn of events is going to do to his career.
HANK SNOW (12/20/99) - Singer/Songwriter. Mr. Snow is a country legend. Hank was typically seen in his trademark flashy, rhinestone outfits. He had a number one hit in 1950 with his tune I'm Movin' On and later had hits with I've Been Everywhere, Golden Rocket, and I Don't Hurt Anymore. Jeesh Hank, if you didn't want to hurt anymore, an aspirin would have been sufficient.
GROVER WASHINGTON (12/17/99) - Musician. Mr. Washington was a respected jazz musician who won a Grammy for his tune Just the Two of Us. By all accounts Grover was a class act who knew music well, could play beautifully, but remained humble. Grover will be missed, especially by Ernie, Bert, Oscar, and Big Bird.
JOSEPH HELLER (12/12/99) - Author. Mr. Heller is best known for his first novel, Catch 22 which presented for all mankind to see, the absurdity that is war. In addition, Joseph wrote several other books including Picture This, God Knows, and Something Happened. As far as at least one Guy at the O.B.E. is concerned, Something Happened is the best darn book ever written!! By the way, something did happen, Joe's heart stopped.
SHIRLEY HEMPHILL (12/10/99) -Actress. Ms. Hemphill played the wise ass waitress who served Rog, Dwayne, and Rerun in the TV series What's Happening!!. In additon, Shirley had some small guest appearance parts in Trapper John M.D. and Martin. But our favorite, was Shirley's appearance on The Love Boat in the episode entitled "Issac Gets Physical." Seems Ms. Hemphill should have starred in the episode entitled "Shirley Gets A Physical", dig?
RICK DANKO (12/10/99) -Musician. Mr. Danko was the bass player for rock legends, The Band. You know, the guys who did those songs The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and Up on Cripple Creek. Rick liked to shoot heroin quite a bit and ended up getting busted in Japan in 1997 for smuggling the stuff. The Band were pretty popular and their last concert, captured in the picture The Last Waltz, is adored by many a fan. Now we can't speak for anyone else, but personally we thought Rick Stanko. Okay, okay, maybe he didn't but he will soon!
MADELINE KAHN (12/3/99) -Actress and comedian. Ms. Kahn performed on both stage and screen. She was nominated for Tony awards for her work in In the Boom Boom Room, On the 20th Century and Born Yesterday and won a Tony in 1989 for The Sisters Rosensweig. Madeline also starred in a bunch of pictures including a ton of Mel Brooks movies. We at the O.B.E. really liked Madeline and hope she finds peace with her family long gone. Most notably Genghis and Kublai.
JOEY ADAMS (12/2/99) -Comedian. Mr. Adams was a "borscht belt" classic. He was a comedian from the old school, the guys who played the Catskills to eek out a living. Ya gotta give Joey alot of credit. He was a comedian back in the day of Youngman, back when comedians really had heart. Unfortunately for Joey, his heart failed.
GENE RAYBURN (11/29/99) -Game show host. Mr. Rayburn hosted Match Game. May not sound like much, but damn-it-all it was. This guy worked with Charles Nelson Reilly, Nipsey Russell, Richard Dawson, and Brett Somers. You just can't beat that. We never attended a taping of Match Game, but we may just attend Gene's "blank."
QUENTIN CRISP (11/20/99) -Writer and performer. By all accounts, Mr. Crisp was a bit loony. This guy worked as everything from an art school model to a prostitute. He wrote his auto-biography, The Naked Civil Servant in 1968 and several other books over the years. Crisp made no secret of the fact that he was gay long before it was popular to be up front about such matters. However, Quentin enraged much of the gay community by stating that he felt homosexuality was an illness. Yeah, yeah, yeah, and the crap that killed him was a sexual preference we suppose.
DONALD MILLS (11/12/99) -Singer. Mr. Mills was the last member of The Mills Brothers, an act that broke racial barriers and produced some swell tunes. Yellow Bird, Paper Doll, and Glow Worm are just a few of the wonderful tunes we can thank Donald for! The Mills Brothers appeared in a handful of movies, displaying their great harmonies. In fact, Donald got his start in pictures in a film called I Ain't Got Nobody. Uh, Donald, give it a couple of months and you'll be right on the money with that one!
MABEL KING (11/9/99) -Actress. Ms. King played in several movies and TV shows in her acting career. Her most notable and well known projects were as The Wicked Witch of the West in the movie and play The Wiz and as the mother on the TV show What's Happening!! According to the doctors Mabel, nothing's happening anymore. Nothing at all.
WALTER PAYTON (11/1/99) -Football Player. Mr. Payton was one heck of a football player. Besides helping make the 1984 Chicago Bears resemble a football team (something they seldom do), he remains the NFLs all time leading rusher and holds the record for the most yards run in a single game, 275. Earlier this year Payton publicly announced he had a rare liver ailment, primary sclerosing cholangitis. During that announcement Payton indicated it was out of his hands and in the hands of God. No let's hide it from the public, no bitterness, no pity party, just a stand up and hope for the best attitude. We're pretty certain Walter Payton's pearly gatin'.
GREG MOORE (10/31/99) -Race car driver. Mr. Moore, a Canadian born race car driver, died in an awful crash. His race car smacked into a wall at 220 miles per hour during the last race of the 1999 season, The Marlboro 500. The freaky thing is that Greg almost missed this race due to a broken finger, a deep laceration to his right hand, and a bruised right hip. He suffered all these injuries the day before the race. Moore was clearly a guy who could not read the writing on the wall.
FRANK DEVOL (10/29/99) -Composer, arranger. Mr. DeVol wrote tons of scores for movies. Frank even won a few Oscars for his work. A couple you may know are Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and The Dirty Dozen. But, we love Frank for the fact that he wrote the themes to The Brady Bunch, My Three Sons and The Love Boat. In 1964 Mr. DeVol wrote the score for the motion picture Send Me No Flowers. Man, it's gonna be a less than colorful funeral.
HOYT AXTON (10/26/99) -Singer, song writer, and actor. Mr. Axton often played the role of a Sheriff on T.V. and in the movies. In addition, Hoyt wrote and performed original works including his biggest hit, Boney Fingers. But, it was Hoyt's mom who really defined who he would become. See, Mae Boren Axton wrote the Elvis hit Heartbreak Hotel. Hoyt took the cue from his mom and wrote the Three Dog Night hit Joy to the World , Ringo Starr's No No Song and Steppenwolf's The Pusher. The Pusher was a song written about the drug trade but, in Mr. Axton's case, can be applied to daisies too.
PAYNE STEWART (10/25/99) -Golfer. Here's a disturbing one. Mr. Stewart was a well known pro-golfer. He won numerous tournaments and liked to dress in knickers and funny hats (getting him a good deal of attention). One day he and some folks get into his plane and start flying from Florida to Dallas, Texas. The plane loses cabin pressure, the folks in it are believed to die from lack of air and extreme cold but the plane keeps flying. In fact, on auto pilot, the thing flys four hours into South Dakota before it crashes. And now the Payne in plane is mainly just a stain.
WILT "THE STILT" CHAMBERLAIN (10/12/99) -Basketball player. Mr. Chamberlain was truly a basketball great. This guy made history in both scoring and rebounds. Wilt never fouled out in 1,205 regular-season and playoff games and he holds the record for rebounding with 23,924. In addition, Wilt claimed to have made it with 20,000 women. Wilt was know as the "Big Dipper" and this may be why. He did a heck of alot of dipping. Anyway's we have a few parting words for Wilt, "Hey Wilt, they were chanting go for the BASKET not the casket silly."
GEORGE C. SCOTT (9/22/99) -Actor. Mr. Scott was an accomplished actor respected for his performances on both stage and screen. George was also a well known drinker, having his nose broken five times, four in bar brawls. A former marine, George played several military roles. His best remembered role was that of General Patton in the movie Patton. He is also remembered for that picture because he refused the Academy Award for his performance. He felt that the Oscars were nothing more than a popularity contest. Scott later said that he did not think he'd ever again be nominated. We're pretty certain that's true now.
RAISA GORBACHEV (9/20/99) -Wife of once important Ruskie. Ms. Gorbachev met her husband, Mikhail Gorbachev, while ballroom dancing in a college class. Raisa broke Russian custom by appearing publicly as a Western style first lady. Some Russians dug, others didn't. Some of the disatisfied Russians called her "Czarina." We just call her dead.
JIM "CATFISH" HUNTER (9/9/99) -Baseball player. Mr. Hunter was a Hall of Fame pitcher who earned 5 World Series rings during his tenure with the Yankees and the A's. In addition, Catfish was the first baseball player to become a multimillionaire by going free agent. Catfish won 224 games, had five straight 20-victory seasons and pitched a perfect game. Not only did Mr. Hunter receive Cy Young's Award, he got Lou Gehrig's disease too.
ALLEN FUNT (9/5/99) -Hidden camera guy. Mr. Funt built a career on hiding a camera, having some one do something wacky in front of someone else, and filming the whole thing. Ya know, film a guy on the bus as his seat partner digs a clam out of his nose, that kind of thing. The show that featured this stuff, Candid Camera, ran for fortysome years in different forms. Yup, forty years!!!!! Hidden cameras, the whole world loves 'em! (Except maybe Stacy Koon and Frank Gifford.)
FRITZ SHURMUR (8/30/99) -Football coach. Mr. Shurmur spent over 20 years in the NFL. In football circles, he was considered to be one of the best defensive coordinators ever. Fritz help lead the 1996 Green Bay Packers to their 1997 Superbowl victory with his stellar defensive planning. Unfortunately for Fritz, the 1999 cancer had a hell of an offensive line.
MARY JANE CROFT LEWIS (8/24/99) -Actress. Ms. Lewis (formerly Croft) played the "friendly neighbor" role in numerous sitcoms in the 1950's and 1960's. Among her roles were the neighbor to Ozzie and Harriet, Clara Randolph, and Lucy's neighbor, Betty Ramsey. Mary Jane got her start playing roles in the radio programs Lux Radio Theatre and Our Miss Brooks. Damn, as if friendly neighbors weren't already hard to find.
NORMAN WEXLER (8/23/99) -Screenwriter. Mr. Wexler is quite a character. In 1972 he got arrested for threatening to shoot Richard Nixon. But, he also wrote Serpico and Saturday Night Fever, two huge pictures. Norman also wrote a few bombs, most notably the sequel to Saturday Night Fever titled Stayin' Alive. Norman was also the cinematographer for The Who's classic, The Kids Are Alright. As an aside, Mr. Wexler finds the worms to be pretty swell too.
HAROLD HENRY "PEE WEE" REESE (8/14/99) -Baseball player. Mr. Reese played ball for the late, great Brooklyn Dodgers. Besides having an offensive record of 126 home runs, 885 RBIs, Pee Wee stood up and put his arm around a young rookie named Jackie Robinson. Not a big deal today, but a huge deal in 1947. By all accounts, Pee Wee was a solid, consistent ball player and a generally nice fella. Now you may think they called Harold "Pee Wee" 'cause he was tiny, but you'd be wrong. They called him "Pee Wee" from back in the days when he was a champion player of marbles. Interestingly, his family is looking for something in marble right about now.
JENNIFER PATERSON (8/10/99) -Cooking show host. Ms. Paterson was overweight, rode a motorcycle, and smoked like Michael Jackson's hair during a Pepsi commercial. No, she wasn't a Hell's Angel. She, along with Clarissa Dickson Wright, co-hosted a cooking show called Two Fat Ladies. It was all the rage in England and was picked up in 1997 by FoodTV for airing on US cable. Although the official reports of Jennifer's death indicate that she died of lung cancer, unconfirmed reports have indicated that Clarissa was seen delicately wiping around her mouth with a napkin and belching.
VICTOR MATURE (8/4/99) -Actor. Mr. Mature was in a bunch of pictures throughout the 1940's and 1950's. His broad physique and good looks earned him the nickname "Beautiful hunk of man." Our favorite thing that Victor did was HEAD. You remember, that wacky 1960's movie by the Monkees. If you're planning to attend the services for Victor, we recommend bringing some cloths pins for your nose.... 'Cause man, that stiff is mature.
ANITA CARTER (7/29/99) -Musician. Ms. Carter played upright bass and sang for the legendary country music group The Carter Sisters. Anita performed with the likes of Elvis and Johnny Cash. Ya know, it may be crass commercialism but it's really true......If we could just stay little 'til our Carters wear out.
HARRY "SWEETS" EDISON (7/27/99) -Trumpeter. Mr. Edison blew horn for some of the greats including Fitzgerald and Sinatra. He was featured in the bands of Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini, and Nelson Riddle. Obviously, this is a bad year for guys with horns. First Al Hirt and now Sweets. Hey, Chuck Mangione, look out brother.
MARTIN AGRONSKY (7/25/99) -News Commentator. Mr. Agronsky took off into the news world when he started reporting about Joe Kennedy and what a nasty ass the guy was. Martin got a boat load of hate mail, a ton of threats, and a big-ass promotion because of this. Ultimately, Martin created a news show format that involved several news commentators sitting around chatting about the week's news. Mr. Agronsky's show, Agronsky & Company ran for 18 years, ending in 1988. Agronsky still has company mind you, they're all just really cold and stiff.
SANDRA GOULD (7/20/99) - Actress. Ms. Gould was a character actress who appeared in numerous T.V. classics including Bewitched, Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch, and The Twilight Zone. Throughout the 1960's, Sandra's characteristic look made her the perfect nosy neighbor, telephone operator, or matronly lady. More recently, Sandra's look makes her the perfect motionless person with a blue hue. Perhaps a cameo in A Very Brady Funeral is forthcoming.
JOHN F. KENNEDY JR. (7/17/99) - Publisher. Mr. Kennedy was the son of a President. Now granted, he did salute when they buried his dad (who was assassinated...history lesson kids) but what's he done since then?......Rollerblade, fail the Bar exam, look good, get lots of press, date cute broads; oh yeah and publish GEORGE. Unlike most Kennedy men, John never went into politics. Like most Kennedy men, John's dead.
JAMES FARMER (7/9/99) - Civil rights leader. Mr. Farmer worked with Martin Luther King Jr. In addition, James formed the group CORE which was instrumental in the American civil rights movement. The murder of three CORE members by the Klan and the subsequent investigation was the basis for the film Mississippi Burning. James also orchestrated the "Freedom Rides," a non violent protest to desegregate interstate bus travel. Then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy suggested that Farmer's followers postpone some of their "Freedom Rides" so that everyone could "cool off." Farmer refused, saying, "We have been cooling off for 350 years." And now, he's really cooling off.
CHARLES "PETE" CONRAD (7/9/99) - Astronaut. Mr. Conrad was the third guy to walk on the moon (who says no one ever remembers third place). He was also the commander of that debacle of space exploration, Skylab. You may recall that Skylab ultimately fell out of the sky and landed somewhere in in Australia (or thereabouts). Well, Pete pulled the same stunt with his motorcycle. Thing is, he landed in the morgue.
MARIO PUZO (7/2/99) - Author. Mr. Puzo liked to write books about the mob (uh, really there's no such thing by the way). His most well known work is, of course, The Godfather. This book has, through the magic of Hollywood, become a piece of American culture. The motion pictures made from the book skyrocketed a number of careers and earned some well deserved Academy Awards. Bet ya didn't know that Mario also co-wrote the scripts for two of the Superman movies. Hmmmm, and then Chris Reeves gets thrown from a horse....
SYLVIA SIDNEY (7/1/99)- Actress. Ms. Sidney started acting at the age of 16. Her early roles were mostly playing victims. Sylvia was also an accomplished needlepoint artist. She even wrote books on the topic. Among Sylvia's features were An American Tragedy, Sabotage, Dead End, Fury, and You Only Live Once. In fact Sylvia, you do only live once. So much for sequels.
ALLAN CARR (6/30/99)- Writer, producer. Mr. Carr is the fella responsible for Grease, Can't Stop the Music, and Grease 2. Allan also produced the 1989 Academy Awards. You may recall that one. It had Rob Lowe dancing with a silly-ass looking Snow White for what seemed like forever. Carr liked camp, glam, and general silliness and he delivered it in his works. We'd like to make one thing clear however, Grease was not the word, cancer was the word. And once that cancer hits, it spreads like grease lightning...go grease lightning.
ESTELLA JONES (6/27/99) - Very old lady. Ms. Jones was 117. That's darn tootin' old. Does that make her a celebrity? In our book no, and according to our rules, no! Estella had a simple philosophy, "Treat people how you want to be treated." Currently, she's being treated with a touch of formaldahyde.
FRED TRUMP (6/25/99)- Multi-millionaire developer. Mr. Trump made a boat load of cash developing apartments. Fred built hundreds of homes and high rises throughout New York. In addition, Fred fathered five children, the most notable of whom is Donald Trump. Hmmm, first The Donald ditches Ivana, then he ditches Marla, now this. Well maybe Donald had nothing to do with this, but we're pretty sure a ditch is gonna be involved.
DEFOREST KELLEY (6/11/99)- Actor. Mr. Kelley is best known as that smart talking, Vulcan hating, "He's dead Jim" saying, doctor on Star Trek. Yup, DeForest immortalized the role of Leonard "Bones" McCoy on the original series and in all the movies based on the original series. Prior to Star Trek DeForest actually got to play other roles. After Star Trek, not a chance; he'd always be "Bones." Need we say more?
MEL TORME (6/5/99)- Singer. Mr. Torme wrote over 300 songs and sang even more. His characteristic vocal intonations earned him the name "The Velvet Fog." In addition, Mel was the object of Judge Harry Stone's admiration on the television show Night Court. Torme even appeared on the show. Among Mel's hits were The Christmas Song, Blue Moon, Again, Sunday in New York, and Where or When. Well, Mr. Torme, as far as we can tell, Los Angeles at about 2 a.m.
JUNIOR BRAITWAITHE (6/4/99)- Reggae singer. Mr. Braitwaithe sang with the Wailers (ya know, Bob Marley and the Wailers). Well, that gig ended when Bob got cancer and died. Then Junior goes and gets himself shot. Weird thing is, he isn't the first Wailer to be capped. Peter Tosh got it back in 1987. Rap our ass, that Reggae is some violent stuff.
CHARLES PIERCE (5/31/99)- Actor, female impersonator. Mr. Pierce liked to dress up in lady's cloths. Hey, come on kids, it's the 1990's, relax. He'd dress like some of the famous dames: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Tallulah Bankhead, Carol Channing, and Katharine Hepburn (We're telling you now, this one's gonna be really tasteless, you may want to move on). Next thing you know, Charles really starts feeling like a girl. Then he goes and dies. Guess it was just his time of the month (Man, that is really bad).
OWEN HART (5/25/99)- Wrestler. Mr. Hart, a professional wrestler known as "Blue Blazer", died when he fell from about 50 feet into the ring. Owen was being lowered into the ring via a lanyard. The lanyard failed, Owen hit his head on a turnbuckle, and, swish, he was pinned...... permanently. Who says wrestling is all fake?
NORMAN ROSSINGTON (5/21/99)- Actor. Mr. Rossington was featured in a whole bunch of British and American films including Lawrence of Arabia, A Hard Day's Night, The Longest Day and A Night to Remember. Norman also did a stint on the PBS series I Claudius and had been working in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. In 1962 he played Alfie in the motion picture Go to Blazes. We can only hope this wasn't a indication of things to come.
HENRY JONES (5/17/99)- Actor. Mr. Jones performed on both stage and screen. Henry won a Tony for his work in Sunrise at Campobello in 1958. He also played the handyman who gets killed by the little psycho in The Bad Seed. Oh yeah, he also spawned the great adventurer Indiana Jones and went on a quest for the holy grail. But that's nothing compared to his portrayal of Mr. Dolenz in the episode of the Six Million Dollar Man entitled The Robot Maker. Funny, Steve Austin was a man barely alive and now Henry Jones is a .....well, you get it.
GENE SARAZEN (5/13/99)- Golfer. Mr. Sarazen was a wicked good golfer back in the 1920's and 1930's. He continued to play into the 1970's and won all four of the major golf titles during his career. "So what," you ask? Well, this guy, known as "The Squire," invented the sand wedge. No silly, not the sandwich, the sand wedge. We can tell ya one thing, he ain't getting outta the bunker he's in now, sand wedge or no sand wedge.
SHEL SILVERSTEIN (5/10/99)- Children's Author, Lyricist. Mr. Silverstein penned the Johnny Cash classic, A Boy Named Sue. That alone makes him pretty cool in our book. In addition, he wrote a number of children's books and numerous children's poems. Among his books for kids were, A Light In The Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends. We'll tell ya where the sidewalk ends Shel, at that hole in the ground with the stone in front of it. That's where it ends.
DANA PLATO (5/8/99)- Actress. Ms. Plato is best known for her role as Kimberly Drummond on the TV sitcom, Diff'rent Strokes. More recent works included some "B" movies among which was a soft core sex flick entitled, Different Strokes: A Story of Jack and Jill ... and Jill. Dana had a long bout with drug abuse and even knocked over a video store once (Wayne Newton bailed her out of jail. Really!). Dana claimed to have gone clean. Liar. "Well the world don't move to the beat of just one drum and what might be right for you, may not be right for some." Apparently the mixture of Loritab and Valium wasn't right for Dana.
LEON HESS (5/7/99)- Oil Tycoon, NY Jets owner. Mr. Hess bought Amerada back in the late 1960's and turned that company into the successful Hess Oil Company. You know, the guys with the trucks at Christmas. Leon also owned the NY Jets football team. You know what they say, "When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dyin' day!" Guess Leon ain't a Jet no more.
RORY CALHOUN (4/28/99)- Actor. Mr. Calhoun is best know for his portrayal of rough and tumble cowboys in 1940's and 1950's motion pictures. Rory also starred in the TV series The Texan. Later in life Rory did a bunch of "B" movies and a was featured in the soap opera Capital in the 1980's. Rory also hosted the reruns of Death Valley Days on the Western Star Theater. Valley's we ain't sure of, but death days have obviously arrived Rory.
AL HIRT (4/27/99)- Trumpeter. Mr. Hirt was nominated for 21 Grammy Awards in his 50 years as a musician and won a Grammy for his tune "Java." Al counted Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra among his influences. The bottom line is Al was an amazing trumpeter. We hear he's taking up the harp now.
CHARLES "BUDDY" ROGERS (4/21/99)- Actor. Mr. Rogers was in the first movie to win an academy award, Wings. He was not the goofball with the sweater and sneakers, that's Fred Rogers. Charles did a bunch of motion pictures in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's. In addition to acting, Charles played a number of musical instruments. At one time, Charles was known as "America's Boyfriend." Apparently America's husband found out and he was none too happy.
SENOR WENCES (4/20/99)- Ventriloquist. Mr. Wences made a career out of having conversations with his hand. Yup, from the early days on the Ed Sullivan Show through those hammy automobile commercials, this guy amazed audiences by talking to Johnny, a face drawn on his hand. Surly you remember the hilarious line, "Deefeecult for you, easy for me." Man was that hand a pisser. Wences also had a puppet, Pedro, that was known for saying "S'OK? S'awright!" What made this kinda funny was that Pedro was just a head in a box (as opposed to Senor Wences who is just a ventriloquist in a box now).
ELLEN CORBY (4/14/99)- Actress. Ms. Corby started her career in 1946 playing character roles as a busybody or fussy spinster. Ellen went on to appear in over 100 movies including Shane, Sabrina, and Vertigo. Ellen is also well know for playing Grandma on the television series The Waltons. Ellen was nominated for an Oscar in in 1948 for her work in the picture I Remember Mama. Well Ellen, I guess you're about to find out if she remembers you.
ANTHONY NEWLEY (4/14/99)- Actor, Lyricist, playwright, and singer. Dig this, Mr. Newley wrote Goldfinger, The Candy Man, and tunes for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (a classic). In addition, Anthony played Matthew Mugg in the 1967 film Dr. Doolittle. Mr. Newley also wrote a hit play entitled Stop the World - I Want to Get Off. Well you're off now Newley, so quit bitching.
BOXCAR WILLIE (4/12/99)- Country music singer. Boxcar got his start in showbiz playing jamborees around his home state of Texas. In the 1970s Willie settled down in Branson, Missouri where he was one of the first folks to have his own theater. It was in that theater that BoxCar did six shows a week, nine months a year until his health failed. As part of his performance, he took on the persona of an old time, train jumping hobo. Willie had said he often travelled by freight train when he was a young man. Now-a-days, he prefers traveling by car. A long black car with lots of people following.
JEAN VANDER PYL (4/10/99)- Voice artist. Ms. Vander Pyl was the voice of several Hanna-Barbara cartoon characters including Rosie-the-Robot and Mrs. Spaceley, both from The Jetsons. However, Jean is most remembered as the voice of the best little housewife in Bedrock, Wilma Flintstone. In certain faiths it is appropriate to place pebbles on the graves of the dead. Need we say more?
RED NORVO (4/6/99)- Jazz Musician. Mr. Norvo not only played with the greats (for example Frank Sinatra, Charles Mingus, and Benny Goodman), he also is credited with introducing the xylophone to jazz music. One thing's for sure, we ain't gonna be cracking wise about Red. As a general rule of thumb kids, never make fun of the guy with the xylophone.
BOB PECK (4/4/99)- Actor. Mr. Peck is best remembered for his role as the game warden, Robert Muldoon, in the Spielberg blockbuster Jurassic Park. Of course Bob did some other acting, for example he acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company. But let's face it, who's gonna remember your Macduff after you've been chased by a giant Raptor. Bob won't be doing any more acting, he is extinct.
LUCILLE LORTEL (4/4/99)- Actress, producer. Ms. Lortel started her career as an actress in the 1920's. However, it was as a producer of off-Broadway shows where she truly found her love. Lucy had a keen eye for ambitious talent, a good playwright, and new ideas. Those three attributes allowed her to produce some of the most successful off-Broadway productions in American theatre history. Perhaps you're familiar with Threepenny Opera, a show that made off-Broadway famous. Well, that was Lucille Lortel's doing. By they way, we know what we can do with two of those pennys.
EARLY WYNN (4/4/99)- Baseball player. Mr. Wynn was a Cy Young Award winner and pitched 300 victories in the major leagues. In addition, Early was known as one of the fiercest competitors in the game. Micky Mantle once said that Wynn would "knock you down in the dugout". Of course, Mantle was typically on the floor in the dug out well before Wynn got there. When asked if he would throw at his grandmother, Wynn replied, "Only if she was digging in." Well Early, it ain't your grandmother, but somebody's digging we can assure you of that.
LIONEL BART (4/3/99)- Composer and lyricist. Mr. Bart created the hit play based on Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, Oliver. His work earned him a Tony award in 1960. The success of Oliver provided Lionel with the funds to fuel a long lived drinking binge which he finally shook in the mid-eighties. Lionel could write a wicked good song but he just couldn't dodge that cancer very artfully.
KATHRYN SCHOONOVER (3/25/99)- Homeless gal who had cancer. Just for shits and giggles Ms. Schoonover attempted to mail out 100 envelopes containing what the letter claimed were nutritional supplements. In reality, they were little bags of cyanide. Kat was caught before the letters were mailed to numerous doctors and law enforcement personnel. Ultimately, she was deemed unable to stand trial due to her advanced cancer. Now the Kats in the coffin with the cyanide too.
CAL RIPKEN SR. (3/25/99)- Baseball scout, coach and manager. Mr. Ripken was a heavy smoker. In addition to scouting ball, coaching ball and managing ball, he spawned the famous ball player Cal Ripken Jr. Cal Sr. died from lung cancer going to prove something we at the O.B.E. have always believed, baseball is bad for your health (see DiMaggio). Now we just sit back and wait for the checks from Philip Morris to roll in!!!!!!!
DAVID STRICKLAND (3/23/99)- Actor. Mr. Strickland played the character Todd on Suddenly Susan. Seems David had a little cocaine habit and ended up getting busted. David was scheduled to appear in court but rather than show, he hung himself. The truth: David starred opposite Brooke Shields and Judd Nelson.........rope please!
JOE DIMAGGIO (3/8/99)- Baseball Player. What can we say about Mr. DiMaggio. A 56 game hitting streak, getting it on with Marylin Monroe, and selling Mr. Coffee machines. This guy was an icon through and through. Shoot, Joe was even immortalized in a Simon and Garfunkel song. "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?", we're guessing the mortuary.
STANLEY KUBRIK (3/7/99)- Director. Mr. Kubrik directed many well known films including Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Spartacus. Wacky Peter Sellers vehicle, insane computer in outer space, statutory rape, senseless violence in a trippy humorous setting, more senseless violence in a big hotel with Scatman Crothers, and a bunch of guys in skimpy bed sheets riding chariots. Damn-it! We're sure gonna miss that Stanley.
RICHARD KILEY (3/5/99)-Actor. Mr. Kiley is best known for playing Don Quixote in Man of LA Mancha. Following that success, he went on to perform in numerous other plays and movies. Most recently, Richard had a role in the Robin WIlliam vehicle, Patch Adams. Bet Rich wishes he had a doctor who could make him do more than laugh now!
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD (3/2/99)-Pop singer. Ms. Springfield had a number of hits in the 1960s. Though she was never a true center stage super star, many of her songs have stood the test of time including Wishin' and Hopin', Son of a Preacher Man, and her first hit, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself. Well Dusty, usually burial and cremation are the standard choices but given enough time I'm sure we can figure out some other things you could do with yourself.
GENE SISKEL (2/20/99)-Movie critic. Mr. Siskel wrote movie reviews for the Chicago Tribune. Big deal, right? Well the guy, along with this other Chicago critic Roger Ebert, ends up turning the movie review business into a real cash cow. Siskel and Ebert start doing Sneak Previews and then At the Movies, both syndicated shows starring these two characters reviewing movies, and become celebrities. Unfortunately, Gene developed a brain tumor. Call us suspicious, but we don't recall that kinda thing happening when they used to put real butter on the popcorn.
JOHN EHRLICHMAN (2/14/99)-Crooked politician. Mr. Ehrlicman did a stint as domestic affairs adviser for President Nixon. Seems John got himself in a little hot water over something called Watergate and ended up doing about 18 months in a minimum security federal prison (read "country club") called Swift Trail Camp. Now, if John was half the adviser he should have been, he'd have told Nixon, "Stop worrying about domestic affairs and just have one!" See, that kinda crap you can lie about. It's the damn hotel break-ins that'll get ya in trouble.
BOBBY TROUP (2/7/99)-Actor, songwriter. Mr. Troup had a bit part in M*A*S*H, played Tommy Dorsey in the The Gene Krupa Story, and had a steady role on the TV series Emergency. In addition, Bobby wrote the song Route 66 and wrote and performed the songs The Girl Can't Help It, Lemon Twist, and Meaning of the Blues. We're willing to bet he knows the meaning of blue now. If not, a mirror might help.
KING HUSSEIN (2/7/99)-King of Jordan. Mr. Hussein became King at the tender age of 16 following his father going a little cuckoo. Hussein ruled Jordan for over 40 years. He lost the West Bank and Jerusalem to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Next time Jordan orders up some non-Hodgkin's lymphoma they ought to go for extra mayo!
PAUL MELLON (2/1/99)-Philanthropist. Mr. Mellon was the son of Andrew Mellon, founder of the National Art Gallery. Paul was a pretty generous guy in his own right, giving over 900 paintings to that museum including works by Van Gogh, Picasso, and Monet. Paul is kinda soft and doesn't smell too good. That's what happens when you leave a Mellon around for 91 years.
HUNTZ HALL (1/30/99)-Actor. Mr. Hall made a name for himself playing Sach in the movie series The Bowery Boys and The East End Kids. Huntz went on to perfom in over 100 movies including Angels with Dirty Faces, The Gentle Giant, Herbie Rides Again and Gas Pump Girls. You just gotta love a guy who does Herbie Rides Again and follows it up with a picture like Gas Pump Girls. In any case, Mr. Hall's tank is empty (As an aside, Huntz appears on the cover of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band).
(1/25/99)-Author. Ms. Delany and
her sister (Bessie) wrote of their family experiences growing up as a black
women in the south at a time when it wasn't so swell to be black or a woman.
What makes Sarah all the more interesting is that she wrote the book, "Having
Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years" at the age of 104. Sarah went
on to write "On My Own at 107: Reflections on a Life Without Bessie" in 1997
at the age of 107. Apparently, Sarah had nothing more to
(1/21/99)-Actress. Ms. Strasberg
was an accomplished stage, screen, and T.V. actress. Not surprising as her
dad was Lee Strasberg, the guy who got actors to do some pretty crazy-ass
things via "method acting"(ask Shelly Winters). Anyway, Susan started her
career playing Ann Frank and went on to do 23 movies, numerous T.V. shows,
and many plays. In addition, Sue ran with Marilyn Monroe and wrote of her
escapades with the sex symbol in the book Marilyn and Me, Sisters, Rivals
and Friends. We understand that work will be re-released under the title,
Marilyn and Me, Both Dead.
BETTY LOU GERSON
(1/12/99)-Actress. Ms. Gerson
appeared in numerous Television shows and Movies. Betty Lou is best known
as the narrator of Disney's Cinderella and the voice of Cruella De
Vil from Disney's 101 Dalmatians. You remember Cruella, she wanted
to make fur coats out of the puppies. Something tells us Linda McCartney
ain't gonna be too happy to see Betty Lou.
(1/12/99)-Hockey Player. Mr.
Wickenheiser did a ten year stint in the NHL playing for New York, Vancouver,
Montreal, Washington, and St. Louis. Doug did 556 games in his career, he
scored 111 goals, and he had 156 assists. Penalty box, wooden box, what's
"IRON EYES" CODY
(1/4/99)-Actor. Mr. Cody portrayed American Indians starting in silent
movies and running through the 1980s. He is best known as the "Crying Indian"
from the Keep America Beautiful advertising campaign in the 1970s
not from his role in the 1987 feature Ernest Goes to Camp. Iron Eyes'
first film appearance was as an extra in the 1919 silent film Back to
God's Country. Oddly, it is his last appearance also.
JERRY QUARRY (1/3/99)-Boxer. Mr. Quarry fought some of the greats including Muhammad Ali, Floyd Patterson and George Foreman. The net result was that the Jerry ended up destitute and had "dementia pugilistica", severe brain damage caused by repeated blows to the head. As an aside, Quarry lost his fight with Ali in 1970. He also lost his fights with drug addiction, pneumonia, and finally, cardiac arrest.
PHIL BERLE (1/2/99)-Producer, director. Mr. Berle
worked on the original Three Stooges, produced and directed numerous
television shows, and did extra work in motion pictures. Still, all his life
he was probably known as "Milton's Brother." Bet that pissed him