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493 posts categorized "OBITUARY"

Mar 25 2017
Jean Rouverol, Blacklisted STAGE DOOR Actress, Soap Writer, Dies @ 100 Comments (0)

S-l1600Jean Rouverol: July 8, 2016—March 24, 2017 (Image via Republic Pictures)

Jean Rouverol, an actress, author and screenwriter who was blacklisted in the '50s after fleeing a House Committee on Un-American Activities subpoena, has died at 100.

Rouverol inspired me to write this post, in 2014, about figures who were still alive from long-ago, 6a00d8341c2ca253ef01a3fd228933970b-800wi
classic films. When I started looking into the topic a couple of years earlier, I could hardly believe someone from the classic film Stage Door (1937) was still with us, and was even more shocked that people from 1923 (she's still alive) and 1930 (he passed away) were also still five-plus feet over.

I had even written to Rouverol in 2012 and received an autograph of a Stage Door ad in response.

Rouverol was the daughter of Aurania Rouverol (1886-1955), the creator of Andy Hardy. She acted in several 1930s films along with Stage Door, most notably in It's a Gift (1934) opposite W.C. Fields (1880-1946), but segued into a career as a writer.

She and her husband, Hugo Butler (1914-1968), were members of the American Communist party, fleeing to Mexico to avoid punishment in the U.S. They eventually returned, her husband dying in 1968. As the blacklist thawed, Rouverol was able to find work again, writing an episode of Little House on the Prairie in the '70s before being named head writer of the long-running soap Guiding Light (started on radio in 1937, ultimately canceled from TV in 2009).

Fantastic Interviews from 2012 with Blacklist Figures

She later taught and continued writing books, including Refugees from Hollywood: A Journal of the Blacklist Years (2000).

 
Watch: Livestream Of Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher Memorial Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 4.16.15 PM(Video still of an image projected at the Debbie & Carrie Celebration of Life memorial)

Debbie & Carrie Celebration of Life, a memorial in honor of the late Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, is viewable right now until it ends right here.

It is being held at the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, cemetery, where the women have been interred. A tribute song by James Blunt is anticipated.

People tweeted images of the progam and ephemera:

Visit ExtraTV for an exhaustive run-down of the entire event, including the words and singing of Ruta Lee.

 
Mar 24 2017
Lola Albright, Glamorous Actress & PETER GUNN Chanteuse, Dies @ 92 Comments (0)

3d2a89462b8feb1be3053c95ad3cbe1eLola Albright: July 20, 1924—March 23, 2017 (Image via publicity still)

I have a thing for Lola Albright, a sultry blonde actress who brought an appealingly opaque quality to the sirens she played. She just had a surprising beauty that felt grounded in her surroundings rather than piled on by Hollywood, and she starred in one of my favorite episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, “The Woman Who Wanted to Live” (1962).

Sadly, Albright died Thursday at 92. Happily, she led a long life (a year longer than previously thought) and died, per her friend's statement, peacefully.

LIST: Every Star Age 80 & Over!

After several uncredited bit parts — including as a showgirl in the 1948 classic Easter Parade starring Judy Garland (1922-1969) and  Fred Astaire (1899-1987) — Albright made her credited film debut in Champion (1949), the hit boxing movie with Kirk Douglas (b. 1917) and Marilyn Maxwell (1920-1972).

Elvis-presley-lola-albright-and-gig-young-in-kid-galahad-1962-large-pictureIn the thick of things with Elvis in Kid Galahad (Image via UA)

Albright was a favorite in B westerns, but rose above B status in hits like Kid Galahad (1962) with Elvis Presley (1935-1977) and in the award-winning parody Lord Love a Duck (1966), a black comedy that earned her an acting prize at the Berlinale.

Lord-love3I need to see Lord Love a Duck right now! (Image via UA)

Though she appeared in numerous features, Albright was busier on early TV, where she was Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 10.01.21 PMwell-suited to the serious roles on early, theater-based productions.

She enjoyed recurring roles on The Bob Cummings Show (1955-1957), Peyton Place (1965-1966; replacing an ailing Dorothy Malone (b. 1925) — who is also now in her nineties) and Branded (1965-1966), but was probably best-remembered as the bombshell of Peter Gunn (1958-1961) opposite Craig Stevens (1918-2000), a role for which she received an Emmy nomination.

S-l1000Now that's an album title! (KEM Records)

Albright was also renowned for her luscious singing on Peter Gunn, a series dripping with style to this day. Along with her televised warbling, Albright released torch-style albums.

She would continue making enigmatic episodic TV appearances sporadically, including a delicious turn on Columbo in 1976 sparring with William Shatner (b. 1931) — Albright: “Silver certificates... I'd paper my bedroom with them if I could.” Shatner: “I wouldn't put it past you.” Albright: “Where would you put it?”) — until her final on-screen gig, on a 1984 episode of Airwolf.

A phantom IMDb post about Albright going before the camera for a Web series recently seems to have vanished.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 9.53.07 PMStill a babe — and a cougar — on Columbo, and in disbelief over who's about to kill her (Video still via NBC)

She is survived by a step-daughter from one of her three marriages.

Albright's gorgeous performance of “It's Always You” after the jump ...

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Mar 22 2017
This Is Him Saying Bye: Chuck Barris, THE GONG SHOW's Zany Ringmaster, Dies @ 87 Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 8.58.19 AMChuck Barris: June 3, 1929—March 22, 2017 (Video still vis CBS)

Oddly, I always used to confuse the names Chuck Berry and Chuck Barris, and now they've died in the same week. Barris, most famous as the host of The Gong Show (1976-1980), has died of natural causes at 87.

Barris also created the unbelievably, intentionally trashy game show, which featured Z-list celebs attempting to sit through the marginal talents of a host of never-gonna-bes, always having the option of banging a gong to stop them dead in their tracks. Those who won took home $516.32 (or $712.05, $716.32 or $996.83 in syndication).

The judges were a hoot, often pushing the boundaries of good taste. Among them, Jaye P. Morgan (b. 1931) was the show's Brett Somers (1924-2007), and Rip Taylor (b. 1935) was more than game. I remember Phyllis Diller (1971-2012) almost looking like she was considering refusing her paycheck so she could split.

Though most of the contestants were average people with below-average gifts, there were notable exceptions: Boxcar Willie (1931-1999), Pee-wee Herman (b. 1952), Andrea McArdle (b. 1963), Cheryl Lynn (b. 1957), Oingo Boingo and Mare Winningham (b. 1959) all gave the show a shot.

Danny Lockin (1943-1977), who was seen in the movie version of Hello, Dolly!, won the show in 1977, only to be brutally murdered in the hours after, probably after a gay one-night stand gone wrong; his killer, who kept a torture diary, stabbed him more than 100 times, but was sentenced to just four years for manslaughter.

But it was the crappiness of the acts that made the show absurdly pomo fun, along with staples like the painfully unfunny Unknown Comic aka Murray Langston (b. 1945); big, bopping black dude in a tracksuit Gene Gene the Dancing Machine aka Gene Patton (1932-2015); and The Wizard of Oz (1939) star Jerry Maren (b. 1920), who would emerge as the winner was announced.

Once, when Gene was doing his dance, Morgan did a stripteease and briefly flashed her boobs. On TV.

The most infamous act — by several inches — was the sister act who came out, sat on the stage and started earnestly licking phallic popsicles. Impossibly, they were not gonged, and Morgan announced, Do you know that that's the way I started? It was pulled from airing elsewhere after censors on the East Coast realized they'd goofed.

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Mar 21 2017
Walt Cessna, NYC Artist, Dead At 52 Comments (0)
 

Walt Cessna, an NYC clubkid who became a teen phenom in publishing (his zines The Key and Stop are collector's items) and was a photographer and artist closely associated with the downtown scene, has died at 52.

DSC00279(Image via Walt Cessna)

Trey Speegle, a friend and former boyfriend of Cessna's, writes:

He was brilliant and complicated and like many creatives, his own worst enemy. He was constantly writing and photographing and musing and telling us all what was “correct”, a term he used to describe anything he deemed brilliant and worthy of praise.

11025889_10205042359152978_7005054299742356605_oChad Ferro by Walt Cessna (Image by Walt Cessna)

Cessna himself wrote on his Facebook page recently:

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Mar 19 2017
6-PACK — These Boys Are On Fire! + The Last Time I Saw Paris Jackson + Pratt Food + Military Porn Scandal Goes Gay + RIP Jimmy Breslin & Mike Myers's Mom Comments (0)
 

How do we get to be @tinashenow or maybe even those firefighter uniforms? 😍😜 #Flame is out now 🔥🔥

A post shared by 92.3 AMP NYC (@923amp) on

WIDGET923 AMP Radio: As you see above and below, Tinashe's dancers are both on fire and able to put it out!

WIDGETExtraTV: Everyone says Paris Jackson looks like Madonna. Now, Michael Jackson's daughter is agreeing... and tweeting Madonna directly about it. 

WIDGETInstagram: Watch Chris Pratt “eat cat food like a good little boy”:

 

#JurassicWorld2 #WHATSMYSNACK watch me eat cat food like a good little boy

A post shared by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

WIDGETUSA Today: The military is using the sharing of private sex pics to go after gay-porn sites that show military men in uniforms. Which have existed exactly forever.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 10.49.46 AMOne of the hotter military sites (Screen grab via Military Classified)

WIDGETExtraTV: Legendary NYC newspaperman Jimmy Breslin dies @ 88. His description of President Kennedy's gravedigger:

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 11.22.58 AM(Text by Jimmy Breslin)

WIDGETTwitter: Mike Myers' mom, Bunny Myers, dies @ 90, according to his brother Paul.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 10.42.12 AMPaul Myers wrote that his mom's stint on 'Letterman was one of her proudest moments. (Video still via CBS)

 
6-PACK — Consider It Dunn + Only The Lonely + Speedo Heaven + Some Pretty Big Little Deaths + Mansion Envy + RIP Mr. EYES OF LAURA MARS! Comments (0)

Simon-christian-scott-p1-2-819x1024Simon says ... (Image by Christian Scott/DNA)

WIDGETtheOUTfront: Simon Dunn wows you on and in the new DNA.

WIDGETBosGuy: Are you middle-aged? If so, you're more susceptible to this. (It's not baldness, impotence or a tendency to DVR Antiques Roadshow.)

WIDGETKenneth in the (212): Might be the most beautiful dude-in-Speedo pic yet.

Boys In The Sand(Movie poster via Poolemar)

WIDGETOMG Blog: 5 utterly amazing male O-shots from (mostly) non-porn films. (Work Unfriendly)

WIDGETExtraTV: Check out the former estate of Hollywood giant David O. Selznick! What a spread.

The-blob-2Nuts to you, Blob! (Image via Paramount)

WIDGETTHR: Jack H. Harris, producer of The Blob (1958) & Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) dies @ 98.

Lm11Thank you for NOT seeing me — Faye Dunaway in Eyes of Laura Mars (Image via Columbia)

 
Mar 18 2017
Early Rock 'n' Roller Chuck Berry, Guitar God, Dies @ 90 Comments (0)
8d0SYaChuck Berry: October 18, 1926—March 18, 2017 (GIF via Make A Gif)

Chuck Berry, a man everyone except the youngest people out there will always remember doing the above, has died at 90 after being found unresponsive in his St. Louis home.

Via ExtraTV:

Police confirmed they responded to a medical emergency Saturday at 12:40 p.m. at Berry's St. Louis home. Berry was found to be unresponsive and, in spite of life-saving measures that were administered, he was declared dead at 1:26 p.m., according to police.

The department issued a statement that read, “The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry. The family requests privacy during this time of bereavement.”

Berry's “Johnny B. Goode” (1958) became his signature hit, and would later liven up Back to the Future (1985):

 

Berry was also the hitmaker behind iconic tunes like “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956) and “You Never Can Tell” (1964), the latter of which you may remember from Pulp Fiction (1994):

Berry wrote the tune in prison in 1962 while serving what wound up being 20 months of a three-year sentence for transporting a 14-year-old girl from Mexico to his nightclub for what he said was a job, but what she said — after being fired — was really a sexual arrangement. Regardless of Berry's guilt or innocence, he felt railroaded by the all-white jury and emerged, according to fellow rocker Carl Perkins, an embittered man.

Check My Updated Ultimate List of Stars 80+!

In the '80s and '90s, Berry's sexual proclivities — an obsession with making and watching porn, a predilection for heavy scat — became the stuff of legend, as documented by Vice via this sordid fax to the late Bob Guccione Sr.

Nevertheless, Berry's career prospered and he never stopped performing. He would go down in history as among the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and was the subject of a Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, at which he was congratulated by President Bill Clinton in 2000.

His final album — his twentieth — is set for release in 2017. He said in December he was dedicating Chuck to his wife of almost 70 years, Thelmetta, a woman he reportedly hadn't lived with in decades.

 


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