In Memorium #01

Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Actor/Detroit Lions All-Pro lineman Alex Karras has passed away

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/sports/f...dies-at-77.html
Alex Karras, All-Pro N.F.L. Lineman Who Also Starred as an Actor, Dies at 77
By BRUCE WEBER
Published: October 10, 2012

Alex Karras, a fierce and relentless All-Pro lineman for the Detroit Lions whose irrepressible character frequently placed him at odds with football’s authorities but led to a second career as an actor on television and in the movies, died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 77.

Karras had kidney disease, heart disease and stomach cancer, his family said in a statement announcing his death, as well as dementia. He was among the more than 3,500 former players who are suing the National Football League, in cases that have been consolidated, over the long-term damage caused by concussions and repeated hits to the head.

To those under 50, Karras may be best known as an actor. He made his film debut in 1968, playing himself in “Paper Lion,” an adaptation of George Plimpton’s book about his experience as an amateur playing quarterback for the Lions, which starred Alan Alda as Plimpton.

His rendering of his own roguish personality led to several appearances on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson,” and in the 1970s he played numerous guest roles on series television, on shows like “McMillan & Wife,” “Love, American Style,” “M*A*S*H” and “The Odd Couple,” in which he played a comically threatening man-mountain, the jealous husband of a woman who had become friendly with Felix (Tony Randall). Perhaps most memorably, he played Mongo, a hulking subliterate outlaw who delivers a knockout punch to a horse, in the Mel Brooks Western spoof “Blazing Saddles.”

In 1975, he played George Zaharias, the husband of the champion track star and golfer Babe Didrikson Zaharias, in the television movie “Babe.” The title role was played by Susan Clark, who became his wife, and from 1983 to 1989, they starred together in the gentle sitcom “Webster,” about a retired football player who takes in a black boy (Emmanuel Lewis), the orphaned young son of a former teammate.

But Karras, at 6 feet 2 inches and 248 pounds — large then but smaller in comparison with today’s N.F.L. linemen — first earned fame as a ferocious tackle for the Lions. He anchored the defensive line for 12 seasons over 13 years, 1958 to 1970.

It was an era when the N.F.L. had abundant talent at the position; Karras’s contemporaries included the Hall of Famers Bob Lilly and Merlin Olsen. But Karras was an especially versatile pass rusher, known around the league for his combination of strength, speed and caginess. His furious approach — Plimpton described it as a “savage, bustling style of attack” — earned him the nickname the Mad Duck.

“Most defensive tackles have one move, they bull head-on,” Doug Van Horn, a New York Giants offensive lineman who had to block Karras, said in 1969. “Not Alex. There is no other tackle like him. He has inside and outside moves, a bull move where he puts his head down and runs over you, or he’ll just stutter-step you like a ballet dancer.”

Karras was named to four Pro Bowls, and he was a member of the N.F.L’s All-Decade team of the 1960s. He was not elected to the Hall of Fame, however, which has sometimes been attributed to the fact that the Lions fielded mostly undistinguished teams during his tenure. In Karras’s only playoff game, the Lions lost to the Dallas Cowboys by the unlikely score of 5-0 in 1970.

But another theory is that his unwillingness to be an obedient N.F.L. citizen — especially his antagonism toward the longtime N.F.L. commissioner Pete Rozelle — resulted in an unofficial blackballing.

Witty, brash and probably smarter than your average bear (or Lion or Packer or Giant, for that matter), Karras was, throughout his career, a thorn in the side of league authorities, speaking out against team owners in general and the Lions’ management in particular. He deplored the way players were treated like chattel on the one hand, deployed as seen fit, and children on the other, held to restrictive behavioral standards, scolded and disciplined.

His reputation as a league outlaw was cemented in 1963 when Rozelle suspended him indefinitely, along with Paul Hornung, the star running back of the Green Bay Packers, for betting on N.F.L. games, and both players missed the entire season. Hornung was immediately contrite, but Karras was angry, asserting that his half-dozen or so $50 and $100 wagers were no threat to the integrity of the game. Neither man was accused of betting against his own team, providing inside information to gamblers or giving less than his best on the field.

Later that year Karras reportedly sold his ownership share in the Lindell A.C., a Detroit bar that was frequented by athletes and, according to the Detroit police, “known hoodlums,” to convince Rozelle that he was repentant — he denied this later — and Rozelle reinstated both men after 11 months, in time for them to play in 1964. Shortly after Karras returned, an official asked him to call the pregame coin toss and Karras, with cheeky disdain, refused.

“I’m sorry, sir,” he explained, “but I’m not permitted to gamble.”

Alexander George Karras was born on July 15, 1935, in Gary, Ind., where his father, George, a Greek immigrant, was a doctor, and his mother, the former Emmeline Wilson, was a nurse. An all-state football player in high school, he attended the University of Iowa, where in 1957 he won the Outland Trophy as the outstanding interior lineman in college football. In 1958, he was drafted in the first round by the Lions.

Karras’s other film credits included roles in the raunchy comedy “Porky’s,” the suspense thriller “Against All Odds” and the gender confusion comedy “Victor/Victoria.” He spent three seasons in the broadcast booth, working with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford on ABC’s “Monday Night Football,” and later wrote a novel, “Tuesday Night Football,” sending up his experience. He also wrote an autobiography, “Even Big Guys Cry.”

In addition to his wife, he is survived by their daughter, Katherine Karras; a sister, Nan Reisen; three brothers, Louis, Paul and Ted; five children from a previous marriage, Alex Jr., Peter, Carolyn Karras, George and Renald; and five grandchildren.

Karras named one of his sons after Plimpton, and for years he told journalists he named another after Rozelle, as a way of remembering the humbling experience of his suspension. But he put an end to that charade in an interview with Sport magazine in 1970, in which he said that though he was wrong to gamble on games, the punishment was overly harsh, and that Rozelle had used him to establish his reputation for toughness. His son Peter, he said, was named after his father-in-law.

He used to tell people, “‘Yeah, I named him after Rozelle,’ ” he told the magazine, “which is a lie ’cause I wouldn’t name anyone after that buzzard.”
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Actor/TV Host/Former Host of Miss America Gary Collins has passed away at the age of 74.
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20638919,00.html
Gary Collins Dies at 74
October 13, 2012 at 04:30 PM EDT

Gary Collins, a familiar TV figure throughout the '80s as both an actor and show host, died early Saturday. He was 74.

Collins succumbed to natural causes just before 1 a.m. Saturday in Biloxi, Miss., Harrison County Deputy Coroner Brian Switzer tells TMZ. He lived in Biloxi and died in the hospital, according to The New York Times.

In addition to leading roles in three short-lived TV series, including The Wackiest Ship in the Army, Collins, with his all-Amercan looks, made a number of guest appearances on such successful shows as Perry Mason, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Love Boat and Charlie's Angels.

He became best known as the host of the syndicated Hour Magazine – for which he won an Emmy in 1983 – as well as The Home Show.

Collins also emceed the Miss America Pageant from 1982-1990 – and married a former Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley, though they had separated last year. The couple wed in 1967 and have one daughter together, Mary Clancy.

Collins had a number of run-ins with the law in recent years, including a DUI conviction in 2009.

In addition to Mobley and their daughter, he is also survived by his two other children, Guy William and Melissa, from a previous marriage to Susan Peterson.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Collins_(actor)
Gary Ennis Collins (April 30, 1938 – October 13, 2012) was an American film and television actor.

Early life and career

Collins was born in Venice, California, to a waitress/factory worker mother.[2] After attending the Santa Monica City College, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Europe, where he was a radio and television performer for the Armed Forces Network.

He co-starred, with Jack Warden and Mark Slade, in the 1965 series The Wackiest Ship in the Army. He co-starred, with Dale Robertson and Robert Random, in the 1966-68 series The Iron Horse . He starred in the 1972 television series The Sixth Sense as parapsychologist Dr. Michael Rhodes and in the 1974 series Born Free as wildlife conservationist George Adamson.

Collins guest-starred on dozens of television shows since the 1960s, including Perry Mason, The Virginian, Hawaii Five-O, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Love Boat, Charlie's Angels, Friends, and JAG. He had roles in the 1969 Andy Griffith film Angel in My Pocket, and in the 1970 film Airport. He also played the heroic co-pilot in the 1977 film The Night They Took Miss Beautiful.

Collins hosted the television talk show Hour Magazine from 1980 to 1988, and co-hosted the ABC television series The Home Show from 1989 to 1994. He was the host of the Miss America Pageant from 1982 to 1990.

Awards

Collins was nominated for an Emmy Award six times and won in 1983 for Outstanding Talk Show Host. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Personal life

Collins was married to former Miss America (1959), Mary Ann Mobley, from 1967 until his death in 2012; they were separated in 2011 but he moved to Mississippi to live with his wife in 2012.[citation needed] They had one child together: a daughter, Mary Clancy Collins. Collins was formerly married to Susan Peterson with whom he had two children: Guy William and Melissa.

Legal Issues

In January 2008 Collins served four days in jail in Glendale, California, for his second DUI conviction. He pleaded no contest to driving a motor home drunk after his arrest January 31, 2009, in Santa Barbara County, California. He was sentenced to 120 days "home detention" according to a Santa Barbara County Sheriff's spokesperson. His blood alcohol content was measured at .29, more than 3 times the legal limit.

In November 2010 Collins was charged with a misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident in Jackson, Mississippi. He was fined $500.

On January 5, 2011, Collins was charged with defrauding an innkeeper, a felony, in Harrison County, Mississippi, for allegedly failing to pay his bill at Jazzeppi's Restaurant, according to a statement released by the Biloxi Police Department. He paid a $500 fine two weeks later and did not appear in court.

Death

Collins was found dead around 1:00 AM on October 13, 2012, at Biloxi Regional Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. His death was said to be a result of natural causes.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
I just heard that Larry Hagman has died from complications of Cancer. He first achieved fame as Major Tony Nelson in the TV comedy hit "I Dream of Jeannie".

Then, years later, he achieved even greater fame as the dastardly J.R. Ewing in the series "Dallas". He had great fun playing such an iconic character and he wasn't afraid to let people knew that he reveled in the fame.

He returned to play the same character in the recent revival series "Dallas", joining returning veterans Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray.

Larry Hagman was one-of-a-kind. Rest in Peace, Larry.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/24/us/larry....html?hpt=us_c2

Larry Hagman, the man behind iconic villain J.R. Ewing, dies
By Chelsea J. Carter and Greg Botelho, CNN
November 24, 2012 -- Updated 1133 GMT (1933 HKT)

(CNN) -- Actor Larry Hagman, who created one of television's iconic villains with the treacherous J.R. Ewing of "Dallas," died Friday, according to a family statement. He was 81.

Hagman died at a Dallas hospital of complications from cancer, said the statement posted on Hagman's official web site early Saturday.

"Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most," it said.

"Larry's family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time."

Hagman shot to television superstardom in 1978 with the role of J.R. Ewing, the scheming Texas oil tycoon, in the prime-time soap opera "Dallas." He was the villain viewers loved to hate.

In 1980, the show became a mega-hit with the "Who Shot J.R.?" plot line that left Americans guessing who pulled the trigger.

The answer came on November 21, 1980, in an episode dubbed "Who Done It?." More than 350 million viewers tuned in around the world to find out Kristen Shepherd, the sister of J.R.'s wife, shot him. It remains one of the most watched television episodes in history.

Ewing survived that shooting, and Hagman and the rest of the cast thrived for 14 seasons total before bowing out in 1991.

He reprised the role for TNT's reboot of the series "Dallas" in June 2012. Hagman filmed appearances for the show's second season, which is set to air in January. (Like CNN, TNT is a division of Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting.)

It was a role he clearly reveled, even developing a trademark laugh for the character. At one point, Hagman made up fake $100 bills emblazoned with his face and the words "In Hagman We Trust" to hand out to fans.

In one of his final interviews on CNN, Hagman appeared alongside original "Dallas" cast members Linda Gray (Sue Ellen) and Patrick Duffy (Bobby) on "Piers Morgan Tonight."

During the interview, Morgan described the character of J.R. Ewing as "the dark dealer of evil scheming."

"Moi?" Hagman said, breaking into a wide smile.

In a statement released Friday by Gray's publicist to KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, the actress described Hagman as "my best friend for more than 35 years."

"He was the pied piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew. He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented and I will miss him enormously. He was an original and lived life to the full and the world was a brighter place because of him," the statement said.

Hagman told Morgan when he was first approached about doing the "Dallas" remake, the first question he asked: "Are my friends going to be on the show?"

"I wouldn't be doing it without them," he said.

Word of Hagman's passing spread quickly late Friday and early Saturday, with everybody from celebrities to fans mourning his death.

Actor William Shatner took to Twitter: "My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Larry Hagman. My best, Bill."

"He was a wonderful human being and an extremely gifted actor. We will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry through his performance as J.R. Ewing," TNT said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

Hagman was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on the cusp of the Great Depression to actress Mary Martin and Ben Hagman, a lawyer.

He spent a year at Bard College in New York and then embarked on a life in theater in Dallas and New York, according to his official website.

He appeared onstage with his mother in "South Pacific" in England and even produced and directed several shows while in the U.S. Air Force. After getting married and leaving the service, Hagman returned to the United States and starred in a number of Broadway plays.

His family then headed to Hollywood, where Hagman earned roles in such television shows as "The Edge of Night" and "The Defenders."

Hagman's breakthrough role came in 1965, when he played astronaut Maj. Tony Nelson, or "Master," as he was known to the scantily clad, 2,000-year-old genie played by Barbara Eden in the hit comedy, "I Dream of Jeannie."

"I can still remember, that first day on Zuma Beach with him, in the frigid cold. From that day for five more years, Larry was the center of so many fun, wild, shocking and, in retrospect, memorable moments that will remain in my heart forever," Eden said in a Facebook post on Friday, shortly after hearing of Hagman's death.

"...I, like many others, believed he had beat cancer and yet we are reminded that life is never guaranteed."

Eden signed off, simply: "Goodbye Larry. There was no one like you before and there will never be anyone like you again."

Hagman kept busy after the show went off the air in 1970, appearing in guest roles in "The Streets of San Francisco," "The Rockford Files" and "Barnaby Jones." In the 1990s, he starred in the television show "Orleans."

Off screen, his drinking earned him unwanted attention from the tabloids, which chronicled his battle with alcoholism.

In recent years, he went public with his wife's battle with Alzheimer's.

He also suffered several health scares, including a bout with cirrhosis and a 16-hour liver transplant in 1995 that helped save his life.

Last year, he revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer, but at the time, Hagman called it "a very common and treatable form."

He is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and five grandchildren.
----

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Hagman
Larry Martin Hagman (September 21, 1931 – November 23, 2012) was an American film and television actor best known for playing J. R. Ewing in the 1980s primetime television soap opera Dallas His supporting roles films include appearances in Fail-Safe, Superman, JFK, Nixon and Primary Colors. His television appearances continued in international soap operas and with guest roles on shows such as Desperate Housewives into the 21st century. In 2012, he reprised his role as J.R. Ewing in an updated version of Dallas. Earlier in his career, he played Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson in the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. He also occasionally worked as a producer and director on television.

Hagman was the son of the actress Mary Martin. A long-time drinker, he underwent a life-saving liver transplant in 1995, and although a member of a 12-step program, he publicly advocated marijuana as a better alternative to alcohol. He died on November 23, 2012, of complications from throat cancer.

Early life

Hagman was born in Fort Worth, Texas. His mother, Mary Virginia Martin, later became a Broadway actress, and his father, Benjamin Jackson "Jack" Hagman, was an accountant and a district attorney. His father was of Swedish descent. Hagman's parents divorced in 1936, when he was five years old. He lived with his grandmother in Texas and California while his mother became a contract player with Paramount in 1938.

In 1940, his mother met and married Richard Halliday and gave birth to a daughter, Heller, the following year. Hagman attended the strict Black-Foxe Military Institute (now closed). When his mother moved to New York City to continue her Broadway career, Hagman again lived with his grandmother in California. A couple of years later, his grandmother died and Hagman joined his mother in New York.

In 1946, Hagman moved back to his hometown of Weatherford, where he worked on a ranch owned by a friend of his father. After attending Weatherford High School, he was drawn to drama classes and reputedly fell in love with the stage and, in particular, with the warm reception he got for his comedic roles. He developed a reputation as a talented performer and in between school terms, would take minor roles in local stage productions.[citation needed] Hagman graduated from high school in 1949, when his mother suggested that he try acting as a profession.

Career beginnings
Hagman began his career in Dallas, Texas, working as a production assistant and acting in small roles in Margo Jones' Theater in 1950 during a break from his one year at Bard College. He appeared in The Taming of the Shrew in New York City, followed by numerous tent show musicals with St. John Terrell's Music Circus in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Lambertville, New Jersey. In 1951, Hagman appeared in the London production of South Pacific with his mother, and stayed in the show for nearly a year.

In 1952, during the Korean War, Hagman was drafted into the United States Air Force. Stationed in London, he spent the majority of his military service entertaining U.S. troops in the UK and at bases in Europe.[citation needed]

After leaving the Air Force in 1956, Hagman returned to New York City where he appeared in the Off-Broadway play Once Around the Block, by William Saroyan. That was followed by nearly a year in another Off-Broadway play, James Lee's Career. His Broadway debut occurred in 1958 in Comes a Day. Hagman appeared in four other Broadway plays, God and Kate Murphy, The Nervous Set, The Warm Peninsula and The Beauty Part.

During this period, Hagman also appeared in numerous, mostly live, television programs. Aged 25, Hagman made his television debut on an episode of Decoy. In 1958, he joined Barbara Bain as a guest star in the short-lived adventure and drama series Harbormaster. Hagman joined the cast of The Edge of Night in 1961 as Ed Gibson, and stayed in that role for two years. In 1964, he made his film debut in Ensign Pulver, which featured a young Jack Nicholson. That same year, Hagman also appeared in Fail-Safe, opposite Henry Fonda.

I Dream of Jeannie
After years of guest-starring in many television roles, and starring in a less successful series the previous year, Hagman hit the jackpot in 1965 playing Barbara Eden's television "master" and eventual love interest, Air Force Captain (later Major) Anthony Nelson in the highly successful sitcom I Dream of Jeannie for NBC. The show had climbed into the Top 30 in its first year and was NBC's answer to both successful 1960s magical comedies, Bewitched on ABC and My Favorite Martian on CBS. The show ran until 1970, and continues to be shown on TV networks around the world. Two reunion movies were later made, both televised on NBC: I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later (1985) and I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991), though Hagman did not appear in either of them.

In November 1999, after 29 years, Hagman agreed to reunite with Jeannie co-stars Barbara Eden and Bill Daily and creator/producer Sidney Sheldon on the The Donny and Marie Show. In 2002, when I Dream of Jeannie was set to join the cable channel TV Land, Hagman once again took part in a I Dream of Jeannie reunion with Eden and Daily, this time on Larry King Live. On the TV Land Awards in March 2004, Hagman and Eden were the first presenters to reunite on stage. The following October, Hagman and Daily appeared at The Ray Courts Hollywood Autograph Show. And the following year, 2005 brought all three surviving stars from I Dream of Jeannie to the first ever cast reunion at The Chiller Expo Show.

Hagman reunited with Eden in March 2006 for a publicity tour in New York City to promote the first season DVD of I Dream of Jeannie. He reunited once again with Eden on stage in the play Love Letters at the College of Staten Island in New York and the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. The appearance marked the first time the two had acted together since Eden appeared with Hagman on Dallas in 1990.

Dallas
In 1977, Hagman was offered two roles on two television series that were debuting. One was for The Waverly Wonders and the other for Dallas. Maj Hagman told Larry Hagman to take the role in Dallas. In Dallas, Hagman was cast as the conniving elder son and businessman J. R. Ewing, a man whom everybody loved to hate. When Hagman read the script for the role of J.R. at his wife's suggestion, they both concluded it was perfect for him. Seen in over 90 countries, the show became a worldwide success and Hagman became one of the best known television stars of the era. By the end of its second season, Dallas was a hit. Producers were keen to capitalize on that love/hate family relationship of J.R.'s, building anticipation to a fever-pitch in the 1980 cliffhanger season finale in which J.R. is shot.

At the beginning of the fourth season of Dallas, audience and actors were guessing "Who shot J.R.?", now one of fictional TV's most famous questions to have ever been asked. During the media buildup, Hagman was involved in contract negotiations, delaying his return in the fourth season. Holding out for a higher salary, Hagman did not appear in the first episode of the show until the final few minutes. Producers were faced with a dilemma whether to pay the greatly increased salary or to write J.R. out of the picture. Lorimar Productions, the makers of the series, began shooting different episodes of Dallas which did not include Hagman. In the midst of negotiations, Hagman took his family to London for their July vacation. He continued to fight for his demands and network executives conceded that they wanted J.R. to remain in Dallas. From then on, Hagman became one of the highest-paid stars on television. At the beginning of the third season, writers were told to keep the storylines away from the actors until they really found out who actually shot J.R., and it took three weeks until the culprit was revealed on November 21, 1980 in a ratings record-breaking episode.

For his performance as J.R. Ewing, Hagman was nominated for two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1980 and 1981, but did not win. He was also nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, between 1981 and 1985. He was nominated for a Soap Opera Digest Award seven times for Outstanding Villain on a Prime Time Serial, Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role on a Prime Time Serial, Favorite Super Couple: Prime Time and Outstanding Actor in a Comic Relief Role on a Prime Time Serial, and won five times. In 1984, co-star (Barbara Bel Geddes) left the show after suffering a heart attack. At one point, Hagman suggested to his real-life mother (Mary Martin) that she play Miss Ellie, but she refused and Bel Geddes was replaced with veteran actress Donna Reed. Reed was fired from the show, just months before her death in 1986, aged 64, from pancreatic cancer.[citation needed] Bel Geddes returned to the role in 1985 and stayed until 1990. By the end of its thirteenth season in 1991, ratings had slipped to the extent that CBS decided to end Dallas. Hagman was the only actor to appear in all 357 episodes. He had also made five guest appearances on the Dallas spin-off series Knots Landing in the early 1980s. Some years after Dallas ended, Hagman appeared in two subsequent Dallas television movies: J.R. Returns in 1996, and War of the Ewings in 1998.

Hagman reprised his role as J.R. Ewing in TNT's continuation of Dallas, which began in 2012.

Other work
Hagman starred in two short-lived series in the 1970s: 'Here We Go Again' and 'The Good Life'. He also appeared in various television films, including Getting Away from It All, Sidekicks, The Return of the World's Greatest Detective, Intimate Strangers and Checkered Flag or Crash.

He appeared in the theatrical films The Group, Harry and Tonto, Mother, Jugs & Speed, The Eagle Has Landed, Superman, Nixon and Primary Colors. He directed (and appeared briefly in) a low-budget comedy and horror film in 1972 called Beware The Blob (a sequel to the classic 1958 horror film The Blob). Some have jokingly called this "the film that J.R. shot".

In 1980, Hagman recorded a single called Ballad Of The Good Luck Charm.

During the 1980s, Hagman was featured in a national televised Schlitz beer campaign, playing on - but not explicitly featuring - the J.R. character from Dallas. Hagman wore the same kind of western business outfit - complete with cowboy hat - that he wore playing J.R. Ewing. The end of each 30-second spot featured a male voice-over saying, "Refreshing Schlitz beer...the gusto's back..." and Hagman grinning into the camera and saying, "...and I'm gonna get it!" He also made commercials for BVD brand underwear.

In January 1997, Hagman starred in a short-lived television series titled Orleans as Judge Luther Charbonnet, which lasted only eight episodes. By this time, Hagman had ceased wearing his toupée.

In 2002, Hagman made an appearance in the fourth series of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer's British comedy panel game, Shooting Stars. In January 2011, Hagman made a guest appearance in the seventh Season of Desperate Housewives as a new husband for Lynette Scavo's mother, Stella (played by Polly Bergen).

In 2010, Hagman was hired as a spokesman for SolarWorld, a solar energy commercial enterprise. While the SolarWorld commercials do not specifically mention either Dallas or J.R. Ewing, Hagman essentially revisits the character (complete with a picture of Hagman as J.R. Ewing from the original series on the mantle), stating that his oil company days are long over, "though still in the energy business", meaning solar energy instead.

Personal life
In 1973, stepfather Richard Halliday died, and Hagman reconciled with his mother, Mary Martin, soon after. The two became close until her death from colon cancer in 1990, at the age of 76.

In 1954, Hagman married Swedish-born Maj Axelsson and they had two children, Heidi Kristina (b. 1958) and Preston (b. 1962). Longtime residents of Malibu, California, they then moved to Ojai, California. Hagman was a member of the Peace and Freedom Party since the 1960s. Hagman derided President George W. Bush, a fellow Texan, before the Iraq War. At a signing for his book he described Bush as "A sad figure, not too well educated, who doesn't get out of America much. He's leading the country towards fascism".

In 1969, friend musician David Crosby, supplied Hagman with LSD after a concert: "LSD was such a profound experience in my life that it changed my pattern of life and my way of thinking and I could not exclude it." Hagman was introduced to marijuana by Jack Nicholson, as a safer alternative to Hagman's heavy drinking. "I liked it because it was fun, it made me feel good, and I never had a hangover.". Although Hagman said he no longer smoked marijuana and was on a "Twelve-Step Program", he explained, "Marijuana is like being compared to alcohol and when you come right down to it, alcohol destroys your body and makes you do violent things, but with grass, you just sit back and enjoy life."

In 1982, Hagman crowned the winner of the Miss Sweden competition in Stockholm. During the coronation, he wore a traditional Lapphatt and sang a Swedish folksong.

In August 1995, Hagman underwent a life-saving liver transplant after admitting he had been a heavy drinker. Numerous reports state he was drinking four bottles of champagne a day while on the set of Dallas. He was also a heavy smoker as a young man, but the cancer scare was the catalyst for him to quit. Hagman was so shaken by this incident that he immediately became strongly anti-smoking. He recorded several public service announcements pleading with smokers to quit and urging non-smokers never to start. Hagman was the chairman of the American Cancer Society's annual Great American Smokeout for many years, and also worked on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation.

In 2001, Larry Hagman wrote his autobiography, entitled Hello Darlin' Tall (and Absolutely True) Tales About My Life. This was the only book Hagman ever wrote.

In a 2007 interview, he talked about how he was a major proponent of alternative energy. On an episode of Living With Ed, Hagman and his wife showed actor Ed Begley, Jr. their solar powered, super energy efficient home and talked about their green lifestyle. In early 2010, the couple put their 43-acre Ojai estate (called "Heaven", which they purchased in 1991) up for sale; it was valued at $9.5 million.

Hagman appeared at the Dublin races in 2008 with his wife. That same year, Maj Hagman was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. In June 2011, Hagman said he had stage 2 throat cancer. He commented, "As J.R. I could get away with anything—bribery, blackmail and adultery", Hagman said in a statement. "But I got caught by cancer. I do want everyone to know that it is a very common and treatable form of cancer. I will be receiving treatment while working on the new Dallas series. I could not think of a better place to be than working on a show I love, with people I love."

Death
Hagman died November 23, 2012, at Medical City Dallas Hospital in Dallas, Texas from complications of cancer.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
http://www.tvguide.com/News/Actress-Debora...es-1056799.aspx

Actress Deborah Raffin Dies at 59
Nov 23, 2012 10:40 AM ET
by Liz Raftery

Actress Deborah Raffin, who starred in several television movies and miniseries and later ran an audiobook company, died Wednesday of leukemia in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports. She was 59.

Raffin was born in Los Angeles and was discovered by a talent agent during her sophomore year in college, according to the Times.

In 1985, she and her husband, Michael Viner, launched Dove Books-on-Tape, which went on to produce titles like Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time and become one of the premiere companies in the audiobook industry. The title of the company was inspired by Raffin's second film, The Dove. The couple sold the business in 1997 and divorced in 2005.

Though Raffin never became a household name in the United States, she was a fairly big star in China, thanks in part to the success of one of her first made-for-TV movies, Nightmare in Badham County. In 1981, she had the dubious honor of being nominated for both a Golden Globe and a Razzie Award for her performance in Touched by Love.

In later years, she had recurring roles on 7th Heaven and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Raffin is survived by a sister, a brother and a daughter.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deborah_Raffin
Deborah Iona Raffin (March 13, 1953 – November 21, 2012) was an American film and television actress, who later became an audiobook publisher.

Career
Raffin was born in Los Angeles, California to Trudy Marshall, a Brooklyn-born former movie actress, and Phillip Jordan Raffin, a restaurateur and business executive.

She appeared in several 1970s Hollywood films. Her 1976 television movie Nightmare in Badham County became a theatrical hit in mainland China, making Raffin a star there, and leading to her later becoming the first Western actress ever to make a movie promotion tour in that country. She was nominated for both a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama and a Razzie Award for Worst Actress for her performance in Touched by Love in 1981.

In 1988, she starred in James Clavell's Noble House with Pierce Brosnan. In 1991, she appeared as Julie Vale, a telepath, in the cult film Scanners II: The New Order. She later appeared as Aunt Julie on the television show 7th Heaven, and as Dr. Hightower in the ABC Family teenager series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

Personal life
She was married to movie producer Michael Viner (1944-2009) in 1974; the couple later became audiobook publishers; they had one child and divorced in 2005.

Death
Raffin died in her native Los Angeles on November 21, 2012, aged 59, from leukemia.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Two Time Golden Globe Winning Actress Karen Black passes away from Cancer at age 74.
Born Karen Blanche Ziegler, Black won Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting actress for the films "Five Easy Pieces (1970)" and "The Great Gatsby (1974)."
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20724347,00.html
Karen Black Dies at 74

By Associated Press and K.C. Blumm
08/08/2013 at 06:15 PM EDT

Oscar-nominated actress Karen Black died Thursday at the age of 74 after a long battle with cancer.

The Easy Rider star's husband, Stephen Eckelberry, announced her death on his Facebook page, saying, "It is with great sadness that I have to report that my wife and best friend Karen Black has just passed away, only a few minutes ago. Thank you all for all your prayers and love, they meant so much to her as they did to me."

Black was diagnosed with ampullary cancer in November 2010 and had a third of her pancreas removed. She was declared cancer-free in 2011, but in March of this year, a fundraising page was set up to help raise public donations for experimental treatment in Europe that was not covered by insurance.

On Aug. 7, just a day before she passed, Eckelberry posted an update saying that Black had become bed-bound as the cancer had spread to her spine and back and they were unable to go to Europe. But he said he had "given up predicting what is going to happen to Karen."

"You look at the scans, they tell you one thing, then you meet Karen, and what you are left with is how amazingly alive she is," he wrote. "She can't help but take life head-on and be completely engaged in the moment, always interested, always curious, always present."

Award-Winning Roles
Known for her full lips and thick, wavy hair that seemed to change color from film to film, Black often portrayed women who were quirky, troubled or threatened. Her breakthrough was as a prostitute who takes LSD with Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in 1969's Easy Rider, the hippie classic that helped get her the role of Rayette Dipesto, a waitress who dates – and is mistreated by – an upper-class dropout played by Jack Nicholson in 1970's Five Easy Pieces.

Cited by The New York Times as a "pathetically appealing vulgarian," Black's performance won her an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe Award. She would recall that playing Rayette really was acting: The well-read, cerebral Black, raised in a comfortable Chicago suburb, had little in common with her relatively simple-minded character.

"If you look through the eyes of Rayette, it looks nice, really beautiful, light, not heavy, not serious. A very affectionate woman who would look upon things with love, and longing," Black told Venice Magazine in 2007.

"A completely uncritical person, and in that sense, a beautiful person. When [director] Bob Rafelson called me to his office to discuss the part he said, 'Karen, I'm worried you can't play this role because you're too smart.' I said 'Bob, when you call "action," I will stop thinking,' because that's how Rayette is.'"

In 1971, Black starred with Nicholson again in Drive, He Said which Nicholson also directed. Over the next few years, she worked with such top actors and directors as Richard Benjamin (Portnoy's Complaint), Robert Redford and Mia Farrow (The Great Gatsby) and Charlton Heston (Airport 1975).

She was nominated for a Grammy Award after writing and performing songs for Nashville, in which she played a country singer in Robert Altman's 1975 ensemble epic. Black also starred as a jewel thief in Alfred Hitchcock's last movie, Family Plot, released in 1976.

"We used to read each other poems and limericks and tried to catch me on my vocabulary," she later said of Hitchcock. "He once said, 'You seem very perspicacious today, Miss Black.' I said, 'Oh, you mean "keenly perceptive?" 'Yes.' So I got him this huge, gold-embossed dictionary that said 'Diction-Harry,' at the end of the shoot."

Black was married four times. She is survived by Eckelberry, a son and a daughter.
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Nightclub singer Eydie Gormé has died at age 84.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/08/11/eydie-gorme-obit.html
Singer Eydie Gorme dies at 84
- Sang Latin tunes, teamed up with husband Steve Lawrence for TV and nightclub acts

The Associated Press
Posted: Aug 11, 2013 7:41 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 11, 2013 7:51 AM ET

Eydie Gorme, a popular American nightclub and television singer who was famous as a solo act and for partnering with her husband, Steve Lawrence, has died. She was 84.

Gorme, who also had a huge solo hit in 1963 with Blame it on the Bossa Nova, died Saturday at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas following a brief, undisclosed illness, said her publicist, Howard Bragman.

Gorme was a successful band singer and nightclub entertainer when she was invited to join the cast of Steve Allen's local New York television show in 1953.

She sang solos and also did duets and comedy skits with Lawrence, a rising young singer who had joined the show a year earlier. When the program became NBC's Tonight Show in 1954, the young couple went with it.

They married in Las Vegas in 1957 and later performed for audiences there. Lawrence, the couple's son David and other loved ones were by her side when she died, Bragman said.

"Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years," Lawrence said in a statement. "I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time."

Although usually recognized for her musical partnership with Lawrence, Gorme broke through on her own with the Grammy-nominated Blame it on the Bossa Nova. The bouncy tune about a dance craze of the time was written by the Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Her husband had had an equally huge solo hit in 1962 with Go Away Little Girl, written by the songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King.

Gorme would score another solo hit in 1964, but this time for a Spanish-language recording.

Gorme, who was born in New York City to Sephardic Jewish parents, grew up speaking both English and Spanish. When she and her husband were at the height of their career as a team in 1964, Columbia Records President Goddard Lieberson suggested she put that Spanish to use in the recording studio.

The result was Amor, recorded with the Mexican combo Trio Los Panchos.

Steve and Eydie tour with Spanish song
The song became a hit throughout Latin America, which resulted in more recordings for the Latino market, and Lawrence and Gorme performed as a duo throughout Latin America.

"Our Spanish stuff outsells our English recordings," Lawrence said in 2004. "She's like a diva to the Spanish world."

Gorme and Lawrence, meanwhile, had an impressive, long-lasting career in English-language music as well, encompassing recordings and appearances on TV, in nightclubs and in concert halls.

Throughout it, they stuck for the most part with the music of classic composers like Berlin, Kern, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and other giants of Broadway and Hollywood musicals. They eschewed rock 'n' roll and made no apologies for it. As they like to put it: "no punk, no funk, no rock, no schlock."

"People come with a general idea of what they're going to get," Lawrence said of their show in a 1989 interview. "They buy a certain cereal, and they know what to expect from that package."

Soon after their marriage, the pair had landed their own TV program, The Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Show, which was a summer replacement for Allen.

Not long after that, however, Lawrence entered the Army, and Gorme went on the nightclub circuit as a soloist until his return to civilian life two years later.

After his discharge, Lawrence and Gorme quickly reteamed, and their careers took off.
Caesars Palace gig stretches 10 years

They appeared at leading nightclubs in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Las Vegas, combining music with the comedy bits they had learned during their apprenticeship on Allen's show. In Las Vegas, the showroom sweethearts played the Sands, the Desert Inn and headlined for 10 years at Caesars Palace.

"Oh God, it was the best," Gorme told The Associated Press in 2003 about that period. "After the shows, we would all get together and hang out. If it got later, we would all get together for breakfast."

With nightclubs dwindling in popularity in the 1980s, they moved their act to large theatres and auditoriums, drawing not only older audiences but also the Baby Boomers who had grown up on rock 'n' roll.

Gorme, who was born Edith Gormezano on Aug. 16, 1928, began to seriously consider a music career while still a student at William Taft High School in New York City's borough of the Bronx, where she had been voted the "Prettiest, Peppiest Cheerleader." The daughter of Turkish and Spanish parents, she grew up speaking Spanish at home.

After graduation, she worked as a Spanish interpreter for a time but also sang on weekends with the band of Ken Greenglass, who encouraged her and eventually became her manager.

Her first big break came when she landed a tour with the Tommy Tucker band, and she followed that up with gigs with Tex Beneke, Ray Eberle and on radio and television. Among her radio appearances was one on a Spanish language show, Cita Con Eydie (A Date with Eydie), which was beamed to Latin America by Voice of America.

Early in her career, Gorme considered changing her name, but her mother protested.

"It's bad enough that you're in show business. How will the neighbours know if you're ever a success?" she told her, so Gorme decided to keep the family name but changed her given name from Edith to Edie.

Later, having grown tired of people mistaking it for Eddie, she changed the spelling to Eydie.

She is survived by Lawrence, her son David and a granddaughter. Her other son with Lawrence, Michael, died of heart failure in 1986 at age 23.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Former Bachellor Contestant Gia Allemand dead from suicide at 29

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/entertainment&id=9206640
Gia Allemand dead at 29; Former 'Bachelorette' contestant died after suicide attempt

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 14, 2013 (NEW ORLEANS) -- Gia Allemand, who was the girlfriend of NBA Pelicans player Ryan Anderson and appeared on ABC's "The Bachelor" and "Bachelor Pad," has died, her publicist said Wednesday. She was 29.

Allemand was taken Monday night to University Hospital in New Orleans after a suicide attempt, the publicist, Penelope Jean Hayes, said in a written statement.

Anderson found the actress and called 911. Allemand was taken off life support Wednesday because of "a critical loss of brain and organ function, life support was withdrawn."

Hayes said Allemand died with her "mother, boyfriend and other life-long friends by her side."

In a statement provided to the AP by Anderson, he thanked family, friends and fans for "all the love and support."

"Gia was the most beautiful person I knew inside and out and she always smiled and made everyone else around her smile," Anderson said. "She had such an amazing impact on my life and anyone that knew her was blessed. All I have left is to cherish those memories we made together and help perpetuate the many values, faith and love that we shared."

Hayes did not provide further details about how Allemand died.
*edited - please stop posting entire articles.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/entertainment&id=9208257
Lisa Robin Kelly of 'That '70s Show' dead at 43

Updated at 04:43, August 16, 2013

August 16, 2013 (LOS ANGELES) -- ''That '70s Show'' actress Lisa Robin Kelly has died at age 43.

Manager Craig Wyckoff says Kelly died Wednesday at a Los Angeles addiction treatment facility she had entered early this week. No official cause of death was disclosed.

Kelly portrayed Laurie Forman, sister of Topher Grace's lead character Eric, on the Fox series. It concluded in 2006.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Longtime Detroiter, Novelist/Screenwriter Elmore Leonard has passed away at age 87.

http://www.freep.com/article/20130820/ENT05/308200074/Elmore-Leonard-Dies-Get-Shorty
Novelist Elmore Leonard elevated crime thriller, mastered dialogue

By Julie Hinds
Detroit Free Press staff writer
12:05 AM, August 21, 2013

“Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.” The last of Elmore Leonard’s famed 10 rules of writing left his fans with a dilemma.

Nothing was skippable about his lean, vivid prose. It was as cropped of excess as a Detroit cop’s haircut, as authentic as the lines on a cowboy’s face.

The novelist, who died Tuesday morning at 87 at his home in Bloomfield Township, probably wouldn’t want the grand obituary of a literary giant. But he’ll be getting just that from news outlets around the world.

“Elmore was the opposite of the loudmouthed, big shot novelist,” messaged another legendary author with Michigan ties, Jim Harrison, from Montana on Tuesday. “He was graceful, fairly quiet and poignantly intelligent. We have lost our best. No one wrote better dialogue in America.”

Leonard was the real deal, just like his gritty fictional characters. He wrote crime stories and Westerns, but his imprint on popular culture was bigger than even the sum of his 45 novels.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmore_Leonard
Elmore John Leonard, Jr. (October 11, 1925 – August 20, 2013) was an American novelist and screenwriter. His earliest published novels in the 1950s were Westerns, but Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into motion pictures.

Among his best-known works are Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, and Rum Punch (adapted for the movie Jackie Brown). Leonard's short stories include ones that became the films 3:10 to Yuma and The Tall T, as well as the current FX television series Justified.

Leonard was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Flora Amelia (née Rive) and Elmore John Leonard, Sr.[1] Because his father worked as a site locator for General Motors, the family moved frequently for several years. In 1934, the family finally settled in Detroit, where Leonard spent his entire life.
*edited to remove entire articles again ~ Azhria Lilu*
 
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