Deaths on August 31

1968: Dennis O’Keefe, Actor (Suspicion) dies of lung cancer at 60
1973: John Ford, American director (Stagecoach, The Searchers) dies at 78
diana1997: Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales, age 36. Died in a car crash in Paris. Global attention and mourning was extensive and 2 billion people tuned in to her funeral on September 6. Diana Spencer is buried at Althorp, the Spencer-family estate in Northhampshire, England. Her final resting place is said to be on an island in the center of a lake called Round Oval. From the lake’s edge you can see an urn but not a headstone or a grave site. Once a year, between July and early September, visitors are allowed to visit the shrine near the island, but no visitors are allowed to set foot on the island itself.
1999: Marguerite Chapman, American actress (The Seven Year Itch, Spy Smasher, Flight to Mars) dies at 81
2002: Lionel Hampton, American Jazz vibraphone player and actor, dies at 94
2008: Jerry Reed, American country music singer and actor (b. 1937)
2013: David Frost, British broadcaster, dies from a heart attack at 74
2017: Richard Anderson, American actor (Oscar Goldman-the 6 Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman television series), dies at 91

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Charles Bronson (1921-2003)

August 30, 2003 – Charles Bronson (Buchinsky), 81

Born in Ehrenfeld, Penn., one of fifteen children, born to Lithuanian parents, in a Pennsylvania coal-mining town, Bronson knew what poverty was at a very young age. By the age of 15 he was working fourteen hour days in the coal mines, earning $1 for a ton of coal.

World War II gave him a chance to become a B-29 tailgunner while based in Guam. When the war was over he found himself in California as an out-of-work actor. He lined-up day-after-day with the rest of the hopefuls at Paramount Studios at the Bronson front gate. It was there that he got the idea to change his family name to Bronson and his career soared.

He was the quintessential tough guy with weather beaten features and was often cast in the role of police officer, gunfighter or vigilante in revenge-oriented plot lines. In 1967 he got a part in The Dirty Dozen (1967), directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine.

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Harmonica from Once Upon A Time in the West

My favorite Bronson part was “Harmonica” in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), directed by Sergio Leone, a 2-1/2+ hour film with a haunting musical score by Ennio Morricone. He was 47 when he made that movie and looked 25.

Other movies he made “famous” included The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven and five Death Wish films. The franchise began in 1974 and ended twenty years later in 1994. He was 73 at the time. He would die nine years later of pneumonia.

He married Jill Ireland in 1968, after her 1967 divorce from David McCallum (McCallum introduced her to Bronson on the set of The Great Escape). They had two children, one born to them and one adopted. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984 and underwent surgery. She died on May 18, 1990. She was only 54.

Though some of his films had a more violet tone, and he was cast as an avenging angel eradicating crime, he surprised critics with his forceful work as murdered United Mine Workers leader Jock Yablonski in the TV movie Act of Vengeance and gave an interesting performance in The Indian Runner directed by Sean Penn.
His final roles in several crime/drama TV movies were well-received, but his bad health began to take its toll. He suffered from Alzheimers disease and finally passed away from pneumonia in August of 2003.
Critics not always loved his films, but he was a true fan favorite in the United States and abroad for over 50 years. There aren’t a lot of actors who can claim that.
Charles BronsonCharles Bronson was buried in Brownsville Cemetery, West Windsor, Vermont.

Streaming – It’s Not Rocket Science

I know you’ve heard the word and some of you have probably cringed on more than one occasion, when you heard it. Streaming, now what the hell is that? I just barely mastered my cell phone!

Coming from a baby boomer, yes, streaming is new and it does require a few skills, but it’s not rocket science and you can’t screw up anything someone is going to hate you for.

If you have Netflix and a cable or satellite service, you are more than half way there. I have DISH and I can get to my Netflix account in a couple of clicks. I actually set-up my Netflix account via my DISH Satellite. Though it was a little clumsy filling in the forms since I’m a whiz at typing. It is very convenient accessing it when I want to watch something at Netflix, all I need to do is use my remote.

I also have Amazon Prime and I recently bought a Smart TV which allows me to access a ton of streaming services, including Amazon Prime which is a portal of streaming services in addition to all else it has to offer.

NCIS Box from AmazonHere’s an example. My DISH DVR automatically records 3 hours of prime time television every night. I’ve started to enjoy NCIS: New Orleans and began watching Season 1 via CBS All Access through Amazon Prime (that what CBS calls it’s “streaming feature”). I also recorded Season 2 and 3 on TNT and Season 4 on CBS with my DVR.

Unfortunately, it missed some of the Season 3 episodes, but I’ve watched those via the OnDemand feature on DISH, or CBS All Access via Amazon Prime. See how easy Streaming is?

But I’ve only scratched the surface. The reason I went down this road in the first place was because I was reading this article about the 50 Box Office Bombs That are Actually Good and I noticed many of them are on streaming services (I already made my list). So here’s the link to the article and perhaps now is the time to get over your fear of streaming.

https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/biggest-box-office-flops-bombs-good-movies

John Carter is based on the story “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs and is a Walt Disney movie. It barely surpassed its budget, but I really enjoyed this movie. © 2011 Disney. JOHN CARTER™ ERB, Inc.

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BTW (By the Way) the David Fincher 1999 movie Fight Club is listed. That made well over $100 million dollars at the box office. Plus how many times have you heard the phrase “you never talk about ….(Fight Club)” in every day life? Fight Club was one of those movies that influenced the fabric of America.