2013 Obits – October

October 27 – Lou Reed, 71 – died from liver disease, after having a transplant earlier this year. Lou Reed brought a mercurial and sometimes aggressive disposition to rock music. He was a singer, songwriter and guitarist whose work with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s had a major influence on generations of rock musicians.

Marcia Wallace

Marcia Wallace

October 25 – Marcia Wallace, 70 – died from complications related to breast cancer as reported from several media outlets. Wallace was the bubbly receptionist for six seasons on The Bob Newhart Show made guest appearances on ALF, Murphy Brown and various game shows and built a second career as a voice-over actress, giving life to Edna Krabappel, Bart Simpson’s cynical fourth grade teacher on “The Simpsons.”

October 25 – Nigel Davenport, 85 – English actor known for Chariots of Fire, A Man for All Seasons, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan and many others had an imposing build, deep voice, large mustache and gleaming eyes. If you look him up at imdb.com, his body of work is enormous. He was a founding member of the English Stage Company (ESC) at the Royal Court. He was twice married and divorced. He is survived by his children, writer Hugo Davenport and actors Laura Davenport and Jack Davenport and five grandchildren.

Nigel Davenport, left, as the Duke of Norfolk with Paul Scofield as Thomas More in the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Nigel Davenport, left, as the Duke of Norfolk with Paul Scofield as Thomas More in the 1966 film A Man for All Seasons. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

October 18: Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, 63 – convicted drug trafficker was shot to seath in the Baja beach resort of Los Cabos by a gunman wearing a clown costume including a wig and a rubber nose. Ha, ha you say. It just so happened to be during an International Clown Convention. The dead man was the eldest brother of Mexico’s once-feared Arellano Felix clan. (This is all the keystrokes and space I plan on wasting on this particular obit.)

October 18: Robert Mazer, 90 – American industrialist, Chicago White Sox owner.

October 17: Tom Foley, 84 – House Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, a one time U.S. ambassador to Japan and a man who took his job seriously, but never himself. He had been in declining health, his wife Heather confirmed.

October 16: Ed Lauter, 74 – veteran character actor, whose long face and stern expression made him instantly recognizable in movies and TV shows died of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos.

Gummy Bear

Gummy Bear

October 15: Hans Riegel, 90 – German entrepreneur and owner of the Haribo empire that produces 100 million gummi bears every day.

October 10: Scott Carpenter, 88 – one of the last surviving original Mercury 7 astronauts and the second American to orbit the Earth.

October 1: Tom Clancy, 66 – died in a Baltimore hospital. A former insurance broker, he wrote his first book, The Hunt for Red October (1984) in his spare time. It sold more than five million copies. He went on to write a string of best-selling spy and military thrillers. His 17th novel, Command Authority, is due out in December.

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2013 Posts – September

Mario-Montez

Mario Montez

Sept. 26: Mario Montez, 78 – died from complications of a stroke in Key West, Florida. Mr. Montez, whose glamour and poise as a drag performer elevated him to the heights of avant-garde theater and cinema in the 1960s, made him a fixture in films by Andy Warhol. The Berlin International Film Festival presented him with a lifetime achievement award in “queer film” in 2012.

Sept. 25: Paul Oliver, 29 – a defensive back for five seasons with the San Diego Chargers was found dead at his home in Marietta, GA of a self-inflicted gun-shot wound.

Sept. 18: Ken Norton Sr., 70 – former heavyweight boxing champion (defeated Muhammad Ali in 1973) and actor, died at a hospital where he had been undergoing rehabilitation since suffering a stroke last year. He had congestive heart failure.

Sept. 16: Patsy Swayze, 86 – the mother of Patrick Swayze died after suffering a stroke at her Simi Valley, California home.

Sept. 12: Omar Hammami (aka al-Amriki aka The American) – killed in an ambush after falling out with Somalia’s al Shabaab group leader. Hammami, originally from Alabama had ascended the ranks of al-Shabaab high enough to attract a $5 million US government bounty was illed in an ambush ordered by that group’s leader, witnesses said.

Sept. 6: Alexis Urbina, 17 – national champion boxer is dead after being found severely beaten in his family’s south Phoenix home and police believe it’s a homicide. Alexis Urbina died from his injuries at a hospital after the Phoenix Police found him unconscious and covered in blood at 1:30pm pm Tuesday, Sept. 3. There were no obvious signs of forced entry into the house, but some of his boxing memorabilia was missing.

Sept. 3: Ariel Castro, 52 – the man responsible for holding Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight captive for over a decade was found dead in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio at 9:20pm. In early October, it was discovered that two correctional officers had doctored some of their daily logs. It was also reported that Castro may have died due to sexual asphyxiation. It was later determined that this was not true.

New Year’s Day Marathons

The day you’ve been waiting for – January 1, 2014. No cooking, no opening presents, no cleaning, no place to be.

If you were out last night and have nothing on your schedule, here’s a list of marathons for you to enjoy.

A&E
7am: Dog the Bounty Hunter
11am: Walking Tall
1pm: The Mummy
4pm: The Mummy Returns
7pm: Duck Dynasty

AMC
The Walking Dead Marathon started yesterday at 8am with Season 1 and continues all day until it ends with the mid-season finale of Season 4 in the wee hours of tonight.

Animal Planet
12am: Africa (External Reversion)
6am: Orangutan Island
6:30am Escape to Chimp Eden
7am: Big Cat Diary
8am: Meerkat Manor
9am: River Monsters: Unhooked
8pm Mermaids: The Body Found-The Extended Cut

BBC America
10am: The Tudors – Season 1
8pm: The Tudors – Season 2

Cloo
5am: Suits New Year’s Day Marathon

FX
7am: Avatar
10:30am: Unstoppable
12:30am: Battle: Los Angeles
3pm: The A-Team
6pm: What Happens in Vegas
8pm: Superbad
10:30pm: Superbad

History Channel
12:01am: Counting Cars, Season 2, Episode 17
12:31am: Counting Cars, Season 2, Episode 18
1:01am: Counting Cars, Season 2, Episode 25
1:32am: Counting Cars, Season 2, Episode 5
2:03am: American Restoration
3:02am: Paid Programming
6am: Modern Marvels
7am: Ancient Aliens
6pm: American Pickers

Ion Television
11am: Married With Children
11:30am: The Perfect Storm
2pm: Burn Notice, Pilot, Pt.1

Nat Geo
9am: Locked Up Abroad Marathon

Science Channel
9am: How It’s Made Marathon
7pm: Mega Shredders

Spike
9am: World’s Wildest Police Videos
11am: Coast to Coast
11:30am: Bloods & Scards, Bro!
12pm: Coast to Coast
12:30pm: In Denial
1pm: Family Ties
1:30pm: Neighborhood Busts
2pm: Coast to Coast
2:30pm: Man on Fire
5:30pm: Training Day
8pm: The Shawshank Redemption
11:30pm: Man on Fire

Syfy
12am: The Twilight Zone
4am: Paid Programming
7am: The Twilight Zone

TLC
8am: My 600-lb. Life
1pm: 900 Pound Man: The Race Against Time
2pm: World’s Strongest Toddler
3pm: 40 Year Old Child: A New Case
4pm: Extreme Cheapskates
9pm: My Strange Addiction (Season 5)

TNT: Limited Commercial Movie Marathon
9am: Gladiator
11:47am: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
3:29pm: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
7pm: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
11:15pm: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

USA: Character Feast
6am: NCIS Resolve to Watch Marathon

The Walking Dead Marathon NYE & New Year’s Day

The cast of The Walking Dead

The cast of The Walking Dead

What didn’t materialize last year, will be featured this year, on AMC starting at 8am on Tuesday, Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve). Days Gone Bye, the first episode of Season 1 will start the marathon (8am-9:30am). Season 1, which only had six episodes in it when it premiered, will conclude at 1:30pm, Dec. 31 with TS-19.

One of my favorite episodes out of four seasons plays at 11:30am, Vatos, can’t be missed. It shows what The Walking Dead is all about – relationships, the human experience and where you were when the world went to hell, what you did afterward, and how you decided to carry on to survive and help those around you.

There’s a great line in there about buying some dogs from Satan at his yard sale.

Season 2 picks up at 2:30pm with What Lies Ahead and continues through 3am on January 1, 2014 (Happy New Year!) with Beside the Dying Fire.

Season 3 starts off right away at 4am January 1 with Seed and continues till 7pm with Welcome to the Tombs.

Season 4 begins at 8pm with 30 Days Without an Accident and continues till 3am with Too Far Gone, the mid-season finale. Season 4 continues Sunday February 9.

So get busy and clean off your DVR. Here’s your chance to get every episode and watch it from beginning to end. Share it with your friends (and family). Let it be the background of your New Year’s Eve party.

I’m not even going to suggest that you get out your zombie recipes. I did that last year and the marathon never happened so let’s just say I’m sending you the vibe to do so, if you feel like it.

I watched Season 1 & 2 while on a train to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago so I probably won’t jump in until Season 3 begins.

2013 Obits – August

Blue II

Blue II

August 31: Blue II, 8 – the English bulldog mascot for Butler’s men’s basketball championship games in 2010 and 2011 died from complications from congestive heart failure. Blue appeared on the floor of every Butler’s men’s basketball home game, select away games and at the 2010 and 2011 Final Four games. He’s been succeeded by Blue III, also known as Trip.

August 24: Julie Harris, 87 – unprepossessing anti-diva who, in the guises of Joan of Arc, Mary Todd Lincoln, Emily Dickinson and other characters both fictional and real, became the most decorated performer in the history of Broadway, died of congestive heart failure at her home in Chatham, Mass.

August 23: Stephen Crohn, 66 – known as “The man who can’t catch AIDS, was a man notable for a genetic mutation, causing him to be immune to the HIV virus. Crohn has the “delta 32” mutation on the CCR5 receptor. His sister, Amy Crohn Santagata confirmed his suicide. “My brother saw all his friends around hiim dying, but he didn’t die, she told The New York Times. “He went through a tremendous amount of survivor guilt about that and said to himself, ‘There’s got to be a reason.'”

Sid Bernstein with Paul McCartney

Sid Bernstein with Paul McCartney

August 21: Sid Bernstein, 95 – a soft-spoken impresario whose long career included bring the Beatles to Carnegie Hall in 1964 and Shea Stadium in 1965 died in Manhattan.

August 20: Elmore Leonard, 87 – a prolific crime novelist died at his home in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. His louche characters, deadpan dialogue and immaculate prose style in novels like “Get Shorty,” “Freaky Deaky” and “Glitz” established him as a modern master of American genre writing.

August 20: Charles Pollock, 83 – an industrial designer whose vision of a simple line in space led him to develop sleek, functional chairs that became a hallmark of executive suites in the latter 20th century died in a fire in South Jamaica, Queens.

Lee Thompson Young

Lee Thompson Young

August 19: Lee Thompson Young, 29 – a child star from the Disney Channel and a gifted actor who played Barry Frost on “Rizzoli & Isles” since its debut season in 2010. The cause was suicide.

August 15: Lisa Robin Kelly, 43 – best known for her recurring role on the hit sitcom “That ’70s Show,” died in Los Angeles at a drug rehab center, but the cause had not yet been determined. Her roommate and former boyfriend, John Michas, had taken her there on Monday, August 12.

August 14: Gia Allemand, 29 – Former ‘Bachelor’ contestant who hailed from Queens, NY was found unconscious by her boyfriend, Ryan Anderson, and was rushed to the hospital. She was later taken off life support due to a “critical loss of brain and organ function.”

Eydie Gorme

Eydie Gorme

August 10: Eydie Gorme, 84 – the Voice of Sophisticated Pop, the lively singer with a remarkable range who performed for decades with her husband, Steve Lawrence, died in Las Vegas.

August 7: Margaret Pellegrini, 89 – one of the last three surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” died in Phoenix. She had never entirely recovered from a stroke she had several months prior. At 15 she stood 3’4″ and became one of MGM’s 124 Munchkins. She attended the ceremony when the Munchkins collectively received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.

August 5: George Duke, 67 – jazz pianist, keyboardist, who crossed genre boundaries died from heat complications after being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Dixie Evens

Dixie Evens

August 3: Dixie Evens, 86 – who brought ‘Monroe’ to Burlesque Houses and was a popular stage performed, died in Las Vegas. Her death was announced on the web site “the Burlesque Hall of Fame”, of which she was a former curator and director. Ms. Evans was a marquee name in the 50s, mentioned in the same breathe as Gypsy Rose Lee, Sally Rand and Lili St. Cyr. She was featured in newspaper articles and television programs about burlesque and appeared in the 2010 documentary “Behind the Burly Q.”

2013 Obits – July

Eileen Brennan in the 1971 film "The Last Picture Show." Columbia Pictures, via Photofest

Eileen Brennan in the 1971 film “The Last Picture Show.” Columbia Pictures, via Photofest

July 28: Eileen Brennan, 80 – with her smoky voice, she worked film and stage and was in show business for more than 20 years before gaining her widest attention as a gleefully tough army captain in the film and television versions of Private Benjamin.

July 24: Virginia Johnson Master, 88 – she was a famed researched and helped debunk sexual myths but before she became famous as a pioneering sex researcher, she was a twice-divorced mother of two who came to St. Louis in 1957 looking for secretarial work. It was there she met William Masters, a prominent OB-GYN physician at Washington University School of Medicine. He asked whether helping with sex research would bother her. “But why does anyone need help?” she answered. “Ginie” Johnson went from secretary to assistant to full research partner with Masters. According to her biographer, Masters told Johnson that her job would require having sex with him. They married in 1971 and went on to open the Masters & Johnson Institute in St. Louis and opened the world’s eyes to sexuality.

July 22: Dennis Farina, 69 – Veteran character actor and star of Saving Private Ryan, Manhunter, Unsolved Mysteries, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Midnight Run, Dennis Farina was best known for playing his fair share of weathered tough guys. A former Chicago police officer, he became Detective Joe Fontana in NBC’s long-running drama series Law & Order. Relegated to supporting roles, he experienced a late career breakthrough in 2011 with the release of Joe Maggio’s solemn character study “The Last Rites of Joe May.” This writer’s favorite — “Manhunter” opposite William Petersen, a Michael Mann directed movie based on the Thomas Harris novel “Red Dragon.” Brian Cox played Hannibal Lecktor and Dennis Farina was Jack Crawford. Petersen played Will Graham. This was in 1986. Edward Norton reprised the role in 2002. He was in high school when this movie was made. Part of it was filmed in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.

July 21: Willie Reed, 76 – American key witness to the killing of Emmett Till in 1955. Willie Reed was just 18 years old when he stood up as a witness in the murder trial of two Mississippi men charged with lynching and killing Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy who had reportedly flirted with a 21-year-old white woman when he stopped to buy candy at a local grocery store.

July 19: Helen Thomas, 92 – pioneering front-row White House journalist died after a long illness. Ms. Thomas covered 10 presidents over nearly half a century and was a legend in the industry.

July 17: Vaughn Ross, 41 – convicted murderer, was executed by the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit and pronounced dead at 6:38pm. He was convicted of a double murder 12 years ago in Lubbock. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to halt the execution. He had been on death row for more than a decade.

July 16: Talia Castellano, 13 – CoverGirl star passed away from neuroblastoma, which she fought for over 6 years. She was also diagnosed with pre-leukemia. The charismatic teen got her first taste of fame after inspiring hundreds of thousands of people with her makeup tutorials on YouTube. In fact, over 15 million views on her candid clips alone. Ellen DeGeneres, who is a representative of CoverGirl surprised her with her own advertisement from the brand.

Cory Monteith

Cory Monteith

July 14: Cory Monteith, 31 – 6′ 3″ Cory Monteith, Canadian actor, drummer, musician, gained worldwide attention when “Glee” made its debut on the Fox network in 2009. Cory played Finn Hudson from Ohio. He was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia on Saturday around noon after he missed his scheduled checkout time. His death was caused by “a mixed drug toxicity, involving heroin and alcohol,” the British Columbia Coroners Service said.

July 14: Dennis Burkley, 67, the character actor known for his work on TV’s “King of the Hill,” voiced Principal Moss, played Redd Foxx’s junkyard partner, a biker in “Mask” and Sonny Crockett (no, not that Sonny Crockett) died in his sleep at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He had been battling health problems for some time, said his son Shawn.

Chase

Chase

July 8: Chase, 13 – Trenton Thunder passed along news that Chase, their 13-year-old team bat dog, passed away on Monday, July 8. Chase made his debut with the Thunder in 2002 and went on to entertain millions of fans at Arm & Hammer Park. He was also a fixture in the local community, visiting schools and special events throughout the region. Chase was seen worldwide on CNN and Japanese television, nationally on ESPN, FOX and the YES Network as well as numerous local television stations.

July 7: Michael Mastromarino, 49 – a former dental surgeon who was charged with running a $4.6 million enterprise that plundered tissue and bone from corpses and sold them for transplants and research. He was still serving a prison term. The cause of death was complications of metastatic liver cancer.

2013 Obit – June

June 30: Jim Kelly, 67 – the afro, street swagger and memorable one-liners of martial arts movies in the 70s in the prominent role alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon died in San Diego from cancer.

June 26: Kimberly McCarthy, 52 – was the 500th death inmate to be executed by the state of Texas. She was put to death using lethal injection for the 1997 murder of her 71-year old neighbor.

June 26: Marc Rich, 78 – Commodities trader and Glencore founder who received a pardon from former President Bill Clinton on his final day in office, died in Lucerne, Switzerland from a stroke. In 1983 he was indicted on 65 criminal counts that included tax fraud and trading with Iran when it was holding American hostages.

June 26: Justin Miller, 35 – a pitcher for four teams during a major league career that spanned seven seasons was found dead but the cause of death has not been released by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

June 23: Bobby Blue Bland, 83 – a distinguished singer who blended Southern blues and soul in songs died due to complications from an ongoing illness at his Memphis, Tenn. home, surrounded by relatives. He was known as the “Sinatra of the blues” and was heavily influenced by Nat King Cole. He was a contemporary of B.B. King and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

June 23: Richard Matheson, 87 – Known as R.C., Richard Matheson’s novels, short stories, screenplays and teleplays drew the blueprints for dozens of science fiction and horror movies and television shows. He died at his home in Calabasas, CA. He had a prolific imagination for the “what if?” story and got his ideas from actual events and other stories. He wrote the short story “Due” after being tailgated by a truck drive; the story became the basis for Steven Spielberg’s first feature film.

Actor James Gandolfini at the Regency Hotel in New York, Oct. 18, 2010.  (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

Actor James Gandolfini at the Regency Hotel in New York, Oct. 18, 2010. (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

June 19: James Gandolfini, 51 – died of cardiac arrest while on vacation in Rome, leaving behind his wife Deborah and two children. An Italian-American raised in New Jersey, he was successful in television, movies and theatre.

June 19: Slim Whitman, 90 – died of heart failure at Orange Park Medical Center, Miami, Florida. He was the country singer, the high-pitched yodeler who sold millions of records through ever-present TV ads in the 1980s and 1990s and whose song saved the world in the film comedy “Mars Attacks!.”

June 18: Michael Hastings, 33 – One of the great reporters of his generation, Michael Hastings died in an early morning car accident in Los Angeles. Hastings was a BuzzFeed writer at the time. He wrote for Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times (Andi Leadership Institute – I Lost My Love in Baghdad, The Operators, Panic 2012)

June 12: Jason Leffler, 37 – died after an accident in a heat race at a dirt car event at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey.

June 8: Arturo Vega, 65 – the artist behind The Ramones’ iconic logo. A native of Mexico, Vega served as the band’s artistic director for 22 years, opened his home to Joey and Dee Dee during their formative years and later served as the band’s archivist.

Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez

June 7: Richard Ramirez, 53 – known as the “Night Stalker,” Ramirez claimed to be inspired by Satan when he killed 14 people and terrorized California during 1985.

June 6: Esther Williams, swimming champion-turned-movie star.

Jiah Khan

Jiah Khan

June 4: Jiah Khan, 25 – Bollywood actor hung herself in her home, allegedly ruled as suicide. Sources close to the actor said she had been depressed for some time due to personal issues.

June 3: David “Deacon” Jones, 74 – Hall of Fame defensive end, the original “sack master” and credited with terming the word sack for how he knocked down quarterbacks. The Washington Redskins said that Jones died of natural causes at his home in Southern California.

June 3: Frank R. Lautenberg, 89 – died in Manhattan due to complications of viral pneumonia. In 2010 he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He was a New Jersey Senator in his 5th Term who fought the alcohol and tobacco industries and promoted Amtrak.

2013 Obits – May

Jean Stapleton

Jean Stapleton

May 31: Jean Stapleton, 90 – the character actress whose portrayal of a slow-witted, big-hearted, submissive (up to a point) housewife on “All in the Family” made her one of the foremost women in television comedy in the 70s died in her home in NYC.

May 31: Paul Samaras, Tim Samaras, Carl Young: killed while storm chasing in El Reno, Oklahoma. Their work tracking tornadoes was featured on the former Discovery Channel show “Storm Chasers.” They were among 13 people killed in storms that struck Oklahoma.

Sparkly Devil (Sarah Klein)

Sparkly Devil (Sarah Klein)

May 27: Sparkly Devil (Sarah Klein), 36 – internationally-known burlesque performer with the Bay Area’s Hubba Hubba Revue died  from injuries she received after the car she was riding in hit a party bus in Burlingame.

May 24: Rona Newton-John, 70 – mother of singer Tottie Goldsmith and first wife of Melbourne nightclub king Brian Goldsmith died in the U.S. Rona was a model and actress who left Sydney, Australia in the 60s to find her fame and fortune – but lived for decades in the shadow of her younger sister’s global fame. She was diagnosed with brain cancer last month.

May 20: Ray Manzarek, 74 – Keyboardist, songwriter and a founder of the Doors died at a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany from bile duct cancer. Mr. Manzarek was living in Napa, California. He founded the Doors in 1965 with singer and lyricist Jim Morrison.

May 19: Phil Buerstatte, 46 – heavy metal drummer, member of the Grammy-nominated New York City metal band White Zombie (1992-1994) was found dead in his home in Madison, WI. The cause of his death has not  yet been determined. His sister Rachel Tvedt said his family is waiting for toxicology reports. Friends and family spoke of years of drug addiction, treatment and prison time.

May 18: David McMillan, 31 – Former Cleveland Browns linebacker and three-year starter at Kansas was shot to death over the weekend in an apparent robbery attempt. An investigation by the DeKalb County (Georgia) Police Department is ongoing.

Richard "Dick" Trickle

Richard “Dick” Trickle

May 16: Richard “Dick” Trickle, 71 – who some claim is the “winningest” driver of all time, was found in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City (Lincoln County), North Carolina. It’s a place of significance for Trickle’s family. His granddaughter was buried there after she was killed in a car accident in 2001. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office said they received a 911 call from Trickle saying, “There would be a dead body and it would be his.” When they arrived at the cemetery a short time later they found Dick Trickle dead, from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

May 13: Dr. Joyce Brothers, 85, a former academic psychologist who, long before Drs. Ruth, Phil and Laura, was counseling millions over the airwaves, died at her home in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Dr. Brothers was described as the mother of mass-media psychology because of the firm, pragmatic guidance she administered via radio and television. Thru the 60s and beyond you could scarcely turn on the TV or open a newspaper without seeing her. She had her own nationally syndicated TV show, was a guest on talk shows like The Tonight Show and on variety show like The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and on many game shows. She lectured widely, had a call-in radio show, a syndicated newspaper column and a regular column in Good Housekeeping magazine and wrote books.

Malcolm Shabazz

Malcolm Shabazz

May 9: Malcolm Shabazz, 28 – the grandson of the late civil rights leader Malcolm X, died while in Mexico from a beating during a robbery. He was actively engaged in politics, like his namesake. Juan Ruiz, a member of the California-based labor organization Rumec, told TPM Shabazz was in Mexico City with one of the group’s leaders, Miguel Suarez, who had been deported from the US last month.

May 8: Wilma Jeanne Cooper, 84 – Young and Restless veteran and mother to Corbin Bernsen, died peacefully in her home. She was an Emmy Award-nominated actress of Cherokee descent best known for her role as Katherine Chancellor on The Young and the Restless. She was married for 23 years to TV producer Harry Bernsen and was mother to 3 children including Corbin Bernsen (Psych).

May 7: Ray Harryhausen, 92 – the pioneer of visual effects and stop-motion film animation (Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans) passed away. He was a multi-award winner, including a special Oscar and BAFTA. He influenced today’s film makers including Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK’s Nick Park.

May 2: Jeff Hanneman, 49 – founding member of Slayer, guitarist and songwriter, died from liver failure in Southern California’s Inland Empire area. Just two year ago he had survived a rare skin tissue disease (necrotizing fasclitis) most likely from a spider bite.

Kris-Kross-147x200May 1: Chris Kelly, 34 – one half of Kris Kross duo died from a drug overdose, a lethal mixture of cocaine and heroin, at his home in Atlanta. He was found unconscious and taken to the Atlanta Medical Center where he was pronounced dead three hours later. Kelly’s uncle told police that his nephew had a history of drug abuse.

Christmas Day Marathons

Next to laying in bed and sleeping most of the day, watching television is on my list of what to do on Christmas Day. To round out the top 3 … laying on the couch. I bet you thought it was going to be “eating,” didn’t you? But since I got the word from my sister that she wasn’t doing Christmas this year, that would mean I would have to be fixing my own Christmas dinner.

No worries, I can cook just fine, even if I’m cooking for one. Here’s the list I’ve accumulated so far of who’s having a marathon on Wednesday, December 25 (all times are Eastern):

A&E
8am: Rodeo Girls
11am: Titanic
3:30pm: Duck Dynasty Marathon

AMC
8am: The Rifleman
9:30am: Rio Bravo
12:30pm: The Cowboys
3:30pm Cahill, United States Marshal
6pm: El Dorado
9pm: The Sons of Katie Elder

Animal Planet
12am: North America
6am: Beasts of the Bible
8am: Meerkat Manor
9am: Gator Boys: Xtra Bites

BBC America
3am: Doctor Who – Season 7.1 Episode 1 – Asylum of the Daleks
4am: Doctor Who – Season 7.1 Episode 2 – Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
5am: Doctor Who – Season 7.1 Episode 3 – A Town Called Mercy
8am: Doctor Who – Season 7.1 Episode 4 – The Power of Three
9am: Doctor Who – Season 7.1 Episode 5 – The Angels Take Manhattan
10am: Doctor Who – Season 7.2 Episode Marathon starting with episode 6 and concluding with episode 13 The Name of the Doctor
8pm: NEW – Doctor Who: Farewell to Matt Smith
9pm: NEW – Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor

Biography (this seems to be their normal line-up for a Wednesday)
8am: Inside Story: The Santa Clause
10am: Find & Design
11am: Sell This House
1pm: Confessions of a Matchmaker
3pm: Cold Case Files
4pm: City Confidential
6pm: Notorious
7pm: The First 48

Cloo
5am: White Collar Marathon

FX
7am: Megamind
9am: Monsters vs. Aliens
11am: How to Train Your Dragon
1pm: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
3pm: Shrek Forever After
5pm: Kung Fu Panda
7pm: Kung Fu Panda 2
9pm: How to Train Your Dragon
11pm: Megamind

Hallmark Channel (a serious Holiday movie marathon)
8am: Hats Off to Christmas
10:30am Catch a Christmas Star
12pm The Christmas Spirit
1:30pm: Finding Christmas
3pm: Fir Crazy
4:30pm: Snow Bride
6pm: Window Wonderland
7:30pm: A Very Merry Mix-up
9pm: The Christmas Ornament
10:30pm: Let It Snow

History Channel
7am: Food Tech
8am: History’s Mysteries
10am: The Real Story of Christmas
11am: Banned from the Bible
1pm: Banned from the Bible II
3pm: Pawn Stars
5pm: Bible Secrets Revealed
10pm: Bible Secrets Revealed NEW

Ion Television
11am: Mandie & The Forgotten Christmas
1pm: Christmas Mail
3pm: A Christmas Kiss
5pm: A Golden Christmas
7pm: A Golden Christmas 2
9pm: A Golden Christmas 3
11pm: Holiday Road Trip
1pm Christmas Town

Nat Geo
5am: Rescue Ink
9am: Brain Games

Science Channel
12am: Futurescapes with James Woods
3am: The Unexplained Files
6am: Survivorman
3pm: Survivorman’s Survival Secrets
9pm: Survivorman: Lost Pilots

Spike
9am: Coming to America
11:32am: The Mummy
2:32pm: The Mummy Returns
5:30pm: Forrest Gump
9pm: Forrest Gump

Syfy
8am: The Twilight Zone
9am: Movie Marathon
2012: Ice Age
Syfy Original Movies
11am: Ice Spiders
1pm: Ice Road Terror
3pm: Yeti
5pm: Snow Beast
7pm: Ice Quake
9pm: Snowmageddon
11pm: Ice Twisters

TBS
6am-6pm 24 Hours of A Christmas Story
8pm-10:30pm: Big Bang Theory
11pm: Conan

TLC
6am: Extreme Christmas Trees
7am: Crazy Christmas Lights
8am: Invasion of the Christmas Lights
9am: Invasion of the Christmas Lights 2
10am: My Crazy Obsession: Christmas Collection
12pm: Undercover Boss Marathon

TNT: Limited Commercial Movie Marathon
9am: Race to Witch Mountain
10:45am: The Time Machine
12:30pm: Spider-Man
2:45pm: Rush Hour 3
4:15pm: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
7pm: End of the Limited Commercial – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
10pm: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

USA: Character Feast
6am: Paul
8am: Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (Uncut)
10:30am: Little Fockers
12:30pm: No Strings Attached (Uncut)
3pm: The Back-up Plan (Uncut)
5:30pm: Couples Retreat (Uncut)
8pm: Commercial Free Bridesmaids
10pm: Modern Family Marathon
1am: Replay of Couples Retreat Uncut

2013 Obits – April

April 28: Kenny Kerr, 60 – the best performing drag queen ever to grace a stage in Las Vegas or anywhere else.

April 26: George Jones, 81 – country music legend, with a graceful, evocative voice which gave a depth to some of the greatest songs in country music including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Grand Tour” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” died at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN. He had been hospitalized since April 18 with a fever and irregular blood pressure.

April 22: Richie Havens, 72 – folk and Woodstock legend, was a protest music hero and the man who opened the 1969 Woodstock festival died from a sudden heart attack at his home in New Jersey.

April 20: Joan Bridge Baez, 100 – Big Joan, as the mother dubbed herself after her namesake daughter became world-famous. In life Joan Bridge was best known as the mother of Joan Baez, (she gained the surname Baez after marrying renowned Mexican-born American physicist Albert Vinicio Baez) who along with her husband, instilled into their daughters a sense of justice, racial equality and social conscience.

Allan Arbus

Allan Arbus

April 19: Allan Arbus, 95 – Psychiatrist with Zingers on M*A*S*H died at his home in Los Angeles. His daughter Amy confirmed his death. In addition to playing on M*A*S*H, Mr. Arbus appeared in films like Coffy and Crossroads and was a TV regular during the 70s and 80s, appearing on Taxi, Starsky & Hutch, Matlock and other shows. But his best-known role was Major Freedman, the liberal psychiatrist who appeared in a dozen episodes of M*A*S*H. He treated wounds of the psyche much as Capt. Hawkeye Pierce treated surgery patients: with a nerve-ending string of zingers.

April 18: Patrick Kennedy, 59 – Milwaukee police detective who got serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer to talk about his crimes died after suffering an apparent heart attack. Chris James Thompson, the director of an independent documentary The Jeffrey Dahmer Files said about Kennedy, “It’s the defining moment in his career and his life, in a sense. That’s the career moment for him. At the same time, it’s this horribly dark moment for the city.”

April 16: Pat Summerall, 82 – legendary sports broadcaster died in his hospital room where he was recovering from surgery after a broken hip. He had a liver transplant in 2004.

April 14: Michael France, 51 – Screenwriter behind several Marvel superhero adaptations died from complications from diabetes, according to his sister.

April 11: Dempsey Morgan, 91 – American fighter pilot, member of the Tuskegee Airmen.

TWILIGHT ZONE.  Jonathan Winters in "A Game of Pool".  Image dated July 28, 1961, origanal airdate October 13, 1961.  Season 3, episode 5.   Copyright ©1961 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Credit: CBS Photo Archive.  File t22619_63.

TWILIGHT ZONE. Jonathan Winters in “A Game of Pool”. Image dated July 28, 1961, origanal airdate October 13, 1961. Season 3, episode 5. Copyright ©1961 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Credit: CBS Photo Archive. File t22619_63.

April 11: Jonathan Winters, 87 – American comedian, actor and artist, died of natural causes in Montecito, Calif., surrounded by friends and family. Winters’ career began when he won a talent contest which led to radio shows and appearances at comedy clubs. He was one of Jack Paar’s favorite guests and a Johnny Carson regular. He co-starred with Robin Williams as Mearth, Mork and Mindy’s son, who was hatched from an egg and aged backwards.

April 8 – Actress Annette Funicello, 70 – longtime Disney and “Beach Party” star died in Bakersfield, Calif. according to the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases Inc. and the Official Disney Fan Club. She passed away from complications of multiple sclerosis.

April 8 – Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 87 –  Britain’s only female prime minister died following a stroke. Thatcher served from 1979 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was known as the “Iron Lady” for her personal and political toughness. She retired from public life after a stroke in 2002.

April 7 – Lilly Pulitzer, 81 – Trendsetting fashion designer, known since 1959, particularly in preppy enclaves as the designer Lilly Pulitzer, died at her Palm Beach residence. She was surrounded by family and loved ones.

April 5 – Matthew Warren, 27 – Son of Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Valley Community Church, a megachurch in Southern California, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. In a note from his father sent to CNN, it stated in part that he struggled with mental illness, depression and suicidal thoughts.

April 4 – Roger Ebert, 70 – died after battle with cancer. “No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.” Ebert, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic is dead at age 70.

April 2 – Jane Nebel Henson – partner to Jim Henson and mother to Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John and Heather, died in her Connecticut home after a long battle with cancer. She met Jim in a puppetry class at the University of Maryland and soon after became an integral creative and business partner with him to form the Muppets. They were married in 1959. Their son Brian is currently chairman and Lisa is CEO of The Jim Henson Co., which continues to generate Muppets films.

April 1 – Shain Gandee, 21 – Reality television star of MTV’s “Buckwild,” plus two others were discovered inside a Ford Bronco in Sissonville, Kanawha County, West Virginia. Gandee’s vehicle was found next to a ridge-top trail which was passable by four-wheel drive vehicles but the Bronco was in a mud pit next to the trail and was partially submerged in deep mud. Mud covered the lower part of the passenger side door of the vehicle and the muffler of the vehicle was completely below the surface of the mud. It is believed that the three died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

William H. Ginsburg

William H. Ginsburg

April 1: William H. Ginsburg, 70 – The lawyer who represented Monica Lewinsky during the 1998 scandal that engulfed the Clinton presidency died of cancer on Monday, April 1 at his home in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, Calif.