Thursday, December 31, 2009

Celebrity Death Note 2009

In Remembrance - 2009
No doubt about it, it was a rough year when it came to losing stars to the hereafter. True, there were older actors, musicians, artists and Hollywood luminaries whose time had simply come -- not that we won't terribly miss the likes of Ricardo Montalban or Ed McMahon or Bea Arthur. But starting with Jett Travolta, who died Jan. 2 despite his dad's best efforts to revive him, and the freak skiing accident that took Natasha Richardson away in mid-March, it's been one blow after another. The summer kicked off with the bizarre passing of David Carradine in Bangkok, and was quickly followed by the deaths of two icons on June 25: Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. And it hasn't gotten much easier since.

As we flip over to a new year and go into reflecting mode, take a moment to remember all the stars we've said goodbye to in 2009:

Brittany Murphy, Dec. 20: The 'Clueless' and 'Girl, Interrupted' actress went into full cardiac arrest, and paramedics were unable to revive her. Toxicology results are pending. She was 32.

Connie Hines, Dec.18: The witty actress best known for playing Carol Post, Wilbur's wife on 'Mr. Ed', died at her home in Beverly Hills from complications of heart problems. She was 79.

Alaina Reed Hall, Dec. 17: The kind-faced actress best known as Olivia on 'Sesame Street' and who later stared on '227,' died after a lengthy battle with breast cancer, the Springfield News-Sun reported. She was 63.

Roy Disney, Dec. 16: The son and nephew of The Walt Disney Co. founders who twice led shareholder revolts that shook up the family business, Disney died at 79 after a bout with stomach cancer.

Jennifer Jones, Dec. 16: Seen here in 'The Song of Bernadette,' for which she won an Academy Award, Jones passed away at the age of 90.

Gene Barry, Dec. 9: The 'Bat Masterson' and 'Burke's Law' actor died of unspecified causes at the age of 90, according to his son.

Ken Ober, Nov. 15: The 'Remote Control' host was found dead at his Santa Monica home at the age of 52. Cause of death is unknown.

Soupy Sales, Oct. 22: The comedian whose real name was Milton Supman built a career on his physical comedy and seemingly rubber face, which was the target of countless pies during his decades as a comedian. He was 83 years old.

Joseph Wiseman, Oct. 19: The actor who played the sinister scientist and the title character of Dr. No in the first James Bond film died in New York of natural causes. He was 91.

Captain Lou Albano, Oct. 14: The colorful pro wrestling coach who made memorable cameos in several Cyndi Lauper videos died at his home in Mount Vernon, NY of an unknown ailment. He was 76.

Al Martino, Oct. 13: The singer whose music career spanned 50 years and produced hits like 'Volare' and 'Spanish Eyes' is likely overshadowed by his role as Johnny Fontane in 'The Godfather.'

Stephen Gately, Oct. 10: Boyone band member Stephen Gately was found dead while on vacation in Spain. There are no signs of any violence or foul play in his death, which is being called a tragic passing due to natural causes.

Mary Travers, Sept. 16: One third of folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary lost her battle with leukemia at 72. Her voice helped carry hits like 'Puff the Magic Dragon' and 'If I Had a Hammer.'

Patrick Swayze, Sept. 14: The 'Dirty Dancing' star passed away at the age of 57. The actor fought nearly a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Henry Gibson, Sept. 14: The actor known for roles in 'Blues Brothers,' 'The Burbs' and 'Laugh-In' died at his home in Malibu after battling cancer. He was 73.

DJ AM, Aug. 28: Adam Goldstein, known to most as DJ AM, was found dead in his bed in New York City.

Les Paul, Aug. 13: Guitar legend Les Paul was known for an incredibly successful recording career and as the inventor of the electric guitar and multitrack recording. Paul reportedly died of complications from pneumonia. He was 94.

Mike Seeger, Aug. 10: Folk singer and auto-harp player Mike Seeger is the half-brother of Pete Seeger and a founding member of the folk group the New Lost City Ramblers. Seeger lost his battle with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. He was 75.

John Hughes, Aug. 6: The filmmaker responsible for iconic '80s movies like 'Pretty in Pink,' 'Sixteen Candles' and 'The Breakfast Club,' suffered a fatal heart attack while visiting New York City.

Budd Schulberg, Aug. 5: The man who defined the Hollywood hustle with his novel 'What Makes Sammy Run?" and later proved himself a player with his screenplay for 'On the Waterfront,' died at age 95. 'Waterfront,' directed by Ella Kazan and filmed in Hoboken, N.J., was released in 1954 to great acclaim and won eight Academy Awards.

Les Lye, July 21: You know him as the foil to all those silly kids on 'You Can't Do That on Television' during the show's heyday. He died at 84.

Gordon Waller, July 19: As half of the pop duo Peter and Gordon, the dapper crooner landed hit after hit during the 1960s British Invasion, including the Paul McCartney-penned songs 'A World Without Love' and 'Nobody I Know.' Waller died at 64 of cardiovascular disease.

Walter Cronkite, July 17: "The most trusted man in America" was 92.

Brenda Joyce, July 4: The actress, who played Jane in several 'Tarzan' films with Johnny Weissmuller (pictured in 'Tarzan and the Amazons') and later Lex Barker, died at age 92. Joyce quit showbiz after completing 1949's 'Tarzan's Magic Fountain.' She went on to work for the government.

Karl Malden, July 1: The Academy Award-winning actor, known for roles in cinematic milestones 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'On the Waterfront' and for his jump to TV in the 1970s with 'The Streets of San Francisco,' died of natural causes at his home in California. He was 97.

Harve Presnell, June 30: The 'Fargo' star succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 75.

Billy Mays, June 28: The TV pitchman died of a heart attack, though an autopsy report showed that cocaine use played a part in Mays' death. He was 50.

Fred Travalena, June 28: The comedian, who made a career out of impersonating celebrities and appearing on Johnny Carson's 'Tonight Show,' succumbed to cancer at the age of 66.

Gale Storm, June 27: Storm, who's best known or her roles in 'My Little Margie' and 'The Gale Storm Show' in the 1950s, died at the age of 87.

Michael Jackson, June 25: The "King of Pop" died after suffering cardiac arrest in Los Angeles just as he was preparing an ambitious comeback. The father of three was 50.

Farrah Fawcett, June 25: Fawcett died at 62 following a long and brave battle with cancer. The 'Charlie's Angels' star was one of the biggest sex symbols of the '70s and had won acclaim for turning to more serious film and TV roles in the 1980s.

Ed McMahon, June 23: Whether on the 'Tonight Show,' 'Star Search' or one of his other many entertainment endeavors, McMahon was always a funny, charming class act. He was 86.

David Carradine, June 4: The kung fu cult hero with more than 200 movies and TV shows to his credit passed away in his Bagkok hotel room. The 'Kill Bill' actor was 72 years old.

Koko Taylor, June 3: National treasure and blues legend Koko Taylor passed away of complications due to recent surgery. She was 80 years old.

Shih Kien, June 3: The Hong Kong movie legend, who spent decades playing the enemy in dozens of martial arts films including the Bruce Lee classic 'Enter the Dragon,' has died at the age of 96.

Jay Bennett, May 24: The multi-instrumentalist and former member of Wilco passed away in his sleep of unknown causes. He was 45 years old.

Lucy Gordon, May 20: The British actress who has had roles in films like 'Spider-Man 3' and 'Serendipity' took her own life by hanging herself in her Paris apartment just two days shy of her 29th birthday.

Frank Aletter, May 13: He's a familiar face to anyone who watched the tube in the 1960s and the 1970s -- he starred in several situation comedies and made stops on 'Kojak,' 'MASH,' 'All in the Family,' among others. Aletter died after battling cancer. He was 83.

Mickey Carroll, May 7: One of the last remaining munchkins from 'The Wizard of Oz,' passed away at the age of 89, just two months short of hi 90th birthday.

Ean Evans, May 6: The Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist died in after what the band called "a valiant battle with an aggressive form of cancer."

Dom DeLuise, May 4: The actor-director-producer died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 75. He is best known for his roles in several Mel Brook's comedies as well as a frequent onscreen partner of Burt Reynolds.

Danny Gans, May 1: The Las Vegas performer who earned the nickname 'The Man of 1000 Voices' passed away suddenly in his sleep. He was 52 years old.

Bea Arthur, April 25: The menthol-voiced actress, who starred in the hit shows 'Maude' and 'The Golden Girls,' died in Los Angeles on April 25 after battling cancer. She was 86.

Ken Annakin, April 22: The director died at the age of 94 in his Beverly Hills home. His long, storied career includes directing classic films like 'Swiss Family Robinson' and war movies 'The Longest Day' and 'The Battle of the Bulge.'

Marilyn Chambers, April 12: The star of the '70s adult film classic 'Behind the Green Door' was found dead in her home at the age of 56. The cause of death is still to be determined.

David "Pop" Winans, April 8: The gospel music patriarch -- BeBe and CeCe are his kids -- was twice nominated for Grammys, in 1989 for his album with wife Delores, pictured, and again in 1999 for a solo album. He died at a Nashville hospice, seven months after suffering a heart attack and stroke.

Andy Hallett, March 29: The actor, who portrayed Lorne in Joss Whedon's series 'Angel,' passed away from heart failure on March 29, 2009 at the age of 33.

Dan Seals, March 25: The singer, who scored a number of pop and country hits, died at 61 of leukemia. Seals was half of the pop duo, England Dan and John Ford Coley, best known for the ballad, 'I'd Really Love To See You Tonight.'

Uriel Jones, March 24: One of the original members of the Funk Brothers, a Motown group that played with Marvin Gaye and The Temptations, Jones died after suffering complications from a heart attack. He was 74.

Jade Goody, March 22: The 27-year-old, who gained fame after a brash appearance on the British reality show 'Big Brother' in 2002, died at her home in Essex, southeast England, after a bout with cancer.

Natasha Richardson, March 18: The Tony-winning star died at 45 after suffering brain damage following a freak skiing accident. The actress, who was married to Liam Neeson starred in films as diverse as 'Patty Hearst' and 'The Parent Trap.'

Ron Silver, March 15: The movie and TV actor succumbed to a long battle with esophageal cancer. He was 62 years old.

Betsy Blair, March 13: The actress, Oscar-nominated for her work in 'Marty,' died of cancer at the age of 85.

Hank Locklin, March 8: For half a century, the Grand Ole Opry star masterfully fused the Honky Tonk and Nashville sounds, making timeless hits like 'Pleas Help Me I'm Falling' and 'Send Me the Pillow You Dream On.' Locklin died at his home in Alabama of undisclosed causes. He was 91.

Clarence Swensen, Feb. 25: The actor played one of the Munchkin soldiers that greet Dorothy after her house touches down in the classic 1939 film, 'The Wiard of Oz' "That movie will never die. It will go on long after the Munchkins have all passed away," he said in 2007. He was 91.

Robert Quarry, Feb. 20: The actor, who toiled for decades in Hollywood before landing the iconic role of charming bloodsucker Count Yorga in the 1970s, died after years of declining health. He was 83.

Kelly Groucutt, Feb. 19: He provided the bass end to classic ELO hits such as 'Mr. Blue Sky,' 'Do Ya' and 'Livin' Thing.' Groucutt died after having a heart attack, his management confirmed. He was 63.

Estelle Bennet, Feb. 11: With her sister Ronnie, left, and cousin Nedra Talley, right, Bennett sand '60s classics like 'Baby, I Love You' and 'Be My Baby' with the legendary Ronettes. She was found dead in her New Jersey hoe of undetermined causes. She was 67.

Molly Bee, Feb. 7:: The yodeling country singer shot to fame with the 1952 novelty hit 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' and later became a familiar face on TV's 'Hometown Jamboree' and 'The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show.' Bee died in California from complications following a stroke at age 69.

James Whitmore, Feb. 6: The Tony- and Emmy-award winning actor passed away three months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He is probably best known to younger audiences for playing librarian Brooks Hatlen in 'The Shawshank Redemption.' Whitmore is survived by three sons and eight grandchildren.

Phil Carey, Feb. 6: The 'One Life to Live' star died at age 83 of lung cancer in his New York City home. He's best known for his role on the soap, but had a long, prolific career.

Lux Interior, Feb. 4: The frontman of the legendary punk band The Cramps passed away due to a pre-existing heart condition. He was 52.

Dewey Martin, Jan. 31: The drummer for the short-lived country rock pioneers Buffalo Springfield was found dead in Van Nuys, Calif. The cause of death is unknown. Martin added the backdrop to early hits penned by bandmates Neil Young ('Mr. Soul') and Stephen Stills 'For What It's Worth'). He was 68.

Clint Ritchie, Jan. 31: The soap veteran, who played ranch owner Clint Buchanan for 20 years on 'One Life to Live,' died shortly after getting a pacemaker installed. He was 70.

Billy Powell, Jan. 27: The longtime Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist, who survived the beloved band's deadly plan crash in 1977, died at his home in Florida of undisclosed causes. He was 56.

David 'Fathead' Newman, Jan. 20: The tenor sax player not only played with Ray Charles and other legends, but also had a successful solo career. He died of pancreatic cancer at 75.

Bob May, Jan. 18: The man in the 'Lost in Space' robot suit, usually photographed in costume, posed here with co-star Jonathan Harris. May died at the age of 69.

Ricardo Montalban, Jan. 14: The Emmy-einning actor, best known for his role on 'Fantasy Island' died of natural causes at his Los Angeles home. He was 88 years old.

Patrick McGoohan, Jan. 13: The veteran actor built a huge following in the 1960's with TV shows 'The Prisoner' and 'Secret Agent,' pictured, but is perhaps best known to young fans as Longshanks, the ruthless king in 'Braveheart.' McGoohan died in LA after a short illness at age 80.

Jon Hager, Jan. 10: The Hager Twins made millions laugh on the hit syndicated TV show 'Hee-Haw' for nearly two decades. Jon, shown at right, was found dead in his Nashville apartment. No cause has been given, but Hager was said to have been ill and depressed since his identical twin, Jim, died last May.

Cheryl Holdridge, Jan. 6: The 'Mickey Mouse Club' Mousketeer, seen in 1956 and again in 2001, went on to appear as Wally's girlfriend in ' Leave It to Beaver' and had roles on 'Bewitched' and 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' The actress died after a two-year battle with lung cancer. She was 64.

Ron Asheton, Jan. 6: Along with Iggy Pop, left, the guitarist helped define the Detroit garage rock sound with the beloved Stooges. Although it hasn't been made official, it's believed that Asheton suffered a heart attack at his Ann Arbor, Mich. home. He was 60.

Steven Gilborn, Jan. 2: With Alice Hirson by his side, Gilborn played Ellen DeGeneres's dad on the hit sitcom, 'Ellen.' His other TV credits are much too long to list, but include stints on 'The Practice,' 'L.A. Law,' 'ER' and 'The Wonder Years.' The actor died after battling cancer. He was 72.

Jett Travolta, Jan. 2: John Travolta and Kelly Preston's son Jett could not be revived after a seizure. He passed away at the age of 16.


Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, Dec. 28: Was found dead in his home of unknown causes. He was 28.

Dominick Dunne, Aug. 26: Died in his Manhattan home after fighting a battle with bladder cancer. He was 83.

Ted Kennedy, Aug. 25: Died two weeks after his sister Eunice after fighting a battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

Mollie Sugden, July 1: Best known for playing Mrs. Slocombe on Are You Being Served?. Died at age 86 of unspecified causes.

Wendy Richard, Feb. 26: Best known for her roles on Are You Being Served? and East Enders, she died at age 65 after a long battle with breast cancer.

Kim Manners, Jan. 25: Kim was a director/producer best known for his work on 21 Jump Street, The X-Files and Supernatural. He died after battling lung cancer. He was 58.

1 afterthoughts:

Galaga said...

Rest in peace!