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


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.

Once Upon a Time_West_BW

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.

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.


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.


Casey Kasem April 27, 1932-June 15, 2014

Casey Kasem created the music radio program “American Top 40.” He was the voice of Shaggy on my favorite cartoon show, Scooby-Doo.

Jean and Casey Kasem. Chad Buchanan/Getty ImagesKasem never really cared for one type of music over another. But he knew his subject and he knew his audience and kept up with it like a top selling salesman. Hit singles in various genres came and went, but it was Kasem’s delivery and regular-guy appeal that brought listeners back to their radios time and time again.

“What really matters,” he said, “it what I say between the songs,” he said. Many likened his comfortable, on-air ways to that of soft slippers; his relentless upbeat outlook to life, the close of every show: “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars,” a little bit corny.

In 1988 his relationship with American Top 40 ended due to a contract dispute. The next year, he started Casey’s Top 40 on another network and brought a good portion of his old audience with him. Ten years later he had secured the rights to the name and again hosted American Top 40.

In 2004 he handed hosting duties over to Ryan Seacrest, but remained in the background, writing and producing. In 2009, Kasem quietly retired on the 39th anniversary of his first Top 40 program.

Kasem had been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia in 2007. Lewy body dementia is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system similar to Parkinson’s disease. In 2013, when his health had deteriorated to the point he was unable to care for himself, a bizarre feud erupted between his second wife (Jean) and the children of his first marriage. It began when Jean refused visitation to his children, to see their father.

Casey & KidsIn May of 2014, a court granted Casey’s daughter Kerri (42) conservatorship over her father, which included the right to make all medical decisions on his behalf. The  problem with that was that nobody knew where he was. Jean had moved him from a nursing home several days earlier and was hiding him. “He was no longer in the United States,” she told the court.

Several days later, however, he was found in Washington state, unresponsive. Kasem died two week later. Jean had the rights to Kasem’s body, and she collected his remains from a hospital in Tacoma, Wash. But a month after his death, he still remained unburied in a nearby funeral home. A few days after that, his body went missing from the funeral home.

A representative for the family became involved and stated that Jean “is hiding him from authorities and is hiding the body away from family and friends.” His daughter Kerri lobbied through the Kasem Cares Foundation for legislation in the California state senate that would grant visitation rights to adult children with an ailing parent.

The rep stated, “they just want their dad to be buried where he wanted to be buried – Forest Lawn [in Glendale, Calif.]. They’d like to be able to visit him.”

Jean had Kasem buried in an unmarked grave at Oslo Western Civil Cemetery in Norway, a country where Kasem had no relatives, ties, heritage and had never visited. He lies there alone, and where he will most likely spend eternity.


Hereditary is in theaters …

It’s one of the newest films to join a list of big-screen chillers. When the family matriarch passes away, those left behind are haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences which reveal dark secrets. Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff and Milly Shapiro round out the cast of Hereditary.

Toni Collette stars in Hereditary


Prepare yourself for even more scares to come out of Hollywood in the upcoming months.

Before there was The Conjuring, there was The Nun. That’s what the trailer says for this movie starring Taissa Farmiga, the younger sister of Vera Farmiga who starred in The Conjuring 1 & 2. You got more than a glimpse of her in The Conjuring 2. Well she’s back and you’ll see her whole story in The Nun, coming in early September.

And guess who’s back just in time for Halloween. Jamie Lee Curtis is coming back to do another Halloween movie. I recently took a look at the 2+ minute trailer and it looks pretty good (and so does Jamie Lee Curtis). Look for Halloween around October 19.

If you’re interested in what Peter Bradshaw picks as the 25 most terrifying horror films, here’s a link. He has a trailer for Hereditary you can check out as well.

Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867-April 9, 1959)

Wright and Wife

Wright and Olgivanna

Married three times, divorced twice, no stranger to tragedy; Frank Lloyd Wright, without question, was the greatest American architect of all time. In his lifetime he designed more than one thousand structures and completed over 500 of them.

Living in Milwaukee, there are three duplexes not far from me that are Wright designed homes. They have those organic lines, low-pitched roof lines and deep overhangs. You can’t drive by them without doing a double-take.

Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin on June 8, 1867 and after a few years of apprenticeship he started his own Chicago firm and immediately preached his philosophy of “organic architecture.” Its central principle demanded that a structure be developed out of its natural surrounding.

He was a bold revolutionary in industrial designs and introduced innovations such as steel-reinforced concrete, all-glass revolving doors, indirect lighting, air conditioning and metal furniture. New York City’s Guggenheim Museum is an example of a Frank Lloyd Wright work that mimics a design found in nature.

Taliesin SG

Taliesin in Spring Green today

Wright converted his Taliesin home in Wisconsin into a school and workshop, but in 1914 tragedy struck one night when Wright was away on business. An employee of the school set fire to Taliesin, burning it to the ground. Before setting the fire he nailed the exterior doors shut except for the lower half of a Dutch door. By the time the fire was put out, seven people lost their lives, including five who had been bludgeoned with an ax by the employee as they tried to escape through the bottom of the Dutch door. Wright’s wife and two stepchildren were among those who were dead.

Wright rebuilt Taliesin in Wisconsin and later remarried. In 1938 he built Taliesin West atop a central Arizona mesa, as a winter home and school. This 37,000-square-foot estate includes living quarters, offices and farm buildings that are subtly distinguished from the environment.

Taliesin West

Taliesin West today

Wright died at 91 in Arizona at Taliesin West from complications after surgery for an intestinal blockage. Per his wishes, he was buried at Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisc. alongside the confessed love of his life, his mistress Mameh. She had been killed that night in 1914.

Wright’s second wife, Olgivanna, had her own idea about where he would spend eternity. Upon her death in 1985, her will stipulated that he be exhumed and cremated. His cremains mixed with her own and the combined remains kept in an urn at Taliesin West.

Her wishes were fulfilled and the urn holding the ashes is kept in Scottsdale. It is NOT available for public viewing and is currently tucked away “in storage.”


Elizabeth Taylor

Liz Taylor graveBorn in London, England on February 27, 1932, Elizabeth Taylor was the epitome of a movie star. She had beauty, glamour, a celebrity lifestyle and an enormous talent.

She was a child actress, performing in National Velvet at the age of 12 before moving on to adult roles such as A Place in the Sun at age 20 and winning an Oscar for BUtterfield 8 at age 28. Considering she was never professionally trained in acting, her skills were exceptional. Though many critics wondered if anyone as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor could also be talented, she could play a vixen, a wounded victim or a melodramatic heroine. It seemed she had to prove her abilities all her life.

Her next film, Cleopatra, would change her life. She received $1 million for that film (the first actress to do so), and she met Richard Burton, who played Mark Anthony. They began a tempestuous relationship, causing them to marry and divorce twice and their lives would be forever bound together, some would say.

Of her seven husbands, Burton was “the love of her life.” She even said that had he not died, she probably would have married him a third time.

Taylor was dogged by the paparazzi, but she existed for her fans. Her private life played out in the magazines and scandal pages. But behind all that press was a star with a sense of morality, even though she habitually married her lovers. People remarked that she became “Elizabeth Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky.”

cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof_babed93bShe said once, “I’ve been lucky all my life. Everything was handed to me. Looks, fame, wealth, honors, love. I rarely had to fight for anything.”

But she did have her share of misfortune. Richard Burton died before his time and Michael Todd (her third husband), died in a plane crash at 48.

She struggled with alcohol and an overeating problem. Juggling five doctors, she managed hundreds of antidepressant and painkiller prescriptions which sent her to Betty Ford. Plus she suffered at least 70 incidents requiring hospitalization.

But she didn’t need to make movies to make money and influence the public. She marketed her own perfume and made millions. She raised nearly $300 million for AIDS and was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1993. In 2000, Queen Elizabeth II honored her with a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (an honor on the level of knighthood).

Taylor was also known for her love of jewels and her remarkable collection was the most valuable jewelry collection ever. When it was sold at Christie’s it brought in $156,756,576 and every single item sold. It generated intense interest from bidders throughout the world.

On March 23, 2011 she died of congestive heart failure. At her request, the funeral began 15 fashionable minutes late because she stated she wanted to be late for her own funeral. She’s buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif. In the Hall of Memory you’ll see a 12-foot-high, Michelangelo-like carved statue of an angel with arms outstretched, beneath which is the crypt of Elizabeth Taylor.




Ever wonder why people (or friends and acquaintances) want to visit cemeteries when they’re on vacation? Well there’s a word for those kind of people. It’s Taphophile and I’m a self-confessed one and have been since I lived across the street from a rather large cemetery when I was growing up in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

It was a short cut and I never hesitated to take it. I found the graves, the headstones and the larger mausoleums extremely interesting and the peace and quiet of the property welcoming.

The interest has never stopped. If I’m driving and I pass a cemetery that looks interesting, I stop and wander in. If I’m on vacation I’ll look up where some of the cemeteries are and if some celebrities are buried there.

I have a Pinterest page entitled “Unique Cemeteries and Gravestones” with over 2,000 pins and over 300 followers. During some weeks, it garners me over 100 pins or more. Cemeteries and gravestones are a very popular subject.

My father always told me that there are two things you could always make money doing: being an undertaker or a grocer, because people have to eat and people are going to die.

But I digress, because the reason I’m writing this is to introduce my new column about Taphophile. I’ve accumulated several books on the subject and I’m going to post a regular column about someone “famous” who’s died, how they died, perhaps something ironic about their death, where their grave is located and, other interesting tidbits about their death.

I sincerely hope you enjoy it and if you have questions or comments, please post them.

2017 Obituaries – October thru December

Oct. 1: Stephen Paddock, 64: The gunman who executed the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. He took his own life with his own gun. He killed at least 58 innocent people and wounded 500 others. He had no known connection to terrorism.

Oct 2: Tom Petty, 66: a true rock legend, Petty reportedly died from cardiac arrest. He was a Grammy winner, Hall of Fame musician (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Traveling Wilburys) and voice actor (King of the Hill).This is one of the best obits for Tom Petty.

Oct. 3: Michel Jouvet, 91: French oneirologist and neurobiologist, developer of Modafinil and discoverer of REM sleep.

Oct. 3: Lance Russell, 91: American professional wrestling announcer and commentator (CWA, USWA, WCW), complications from a broken hip.

Oct. 4: Rufus Hannah, 63: American advocate for homeless rights, traffic collision.

Oct. 6: Holly Block, 58: American museologist, gallery director in Art in General (1988-2004) and Director of Bronx Museum of the Arts (since 2006) breast cancer.

Oct. 6: Hervé L. Leroux, 60: French fashion designer, founder of Hervé Leger, ruptured aneurysm.

Oct. 6. Ralphie May, 45: American comedian and Last Comic Standing second-place winner, died after suffering cardiac arrest in Las Vegas. He had been battling pneumonia and had cancelled a handful of dates over the last month prior to his death, in an effort to recover.


Bunny Sigler

Oct. 6: Bunny Sigler, 76: Philly music creator, that helped Gamble and Huff create the Philly Sound died at home of a heart attack. He worked with Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls, the Spinners and countless others and his music was sampled by Jay Z, Nelly and Outkast. Lee Remick, his longtime attorney and friend stated, “He wrote, produced, recorded and sang.” Sigler had been sick for the last 10 months and suffered from diabetes. He is survived by his wife Martha and a daughter Eva in California and a son Jabare in Philadelphia.

Oct. 10: Nick Corvino, 30: an American political staffer during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign died after he was shot 13 times as he slept in his Florida home. He apparently was killed by his roommate earlier in the week in their apartment near Kissimmee. Deputies found Corvino dead in his bed. He’d been shot in the head, back and legs.

Oct. 11: Jeremy, 2: The British left-coiled snail died days after mate has young.

Oct. 12: Robert Lynn Pruett, 38: American murderer. Executed by Texas for a prison guard’s murder.

Oct. 14: Daniel Webb, 28: Former Chicago White Sox pitcher died in an ATV accident.

Oct. 15: Melvin “Burrhead” Nelson Jones, 80: American professional wrestler (WWWF, CCW, CWA). He had been dealing with a number of health issues including blindness due to glaucoma and arthritis which left him bed-ridden at a medical facility.


Roy Dotrice

Oct. 16: Roy Dotrice, 94: The famed actor died peacefully in his London home, surrounded by his family, including his three daughters and grandchildren. He discovered his passion for acting while he was held as a German prisoner during the Second World War. In 2008, he was award an OBE for services to drama by the Queen.

Oct. 17: Mychael Knight, 39: American fashion designer and Project Runway alum died outside of Atlanta, Georgia surrounded by his loving family and friends.

Oct. 17: Michele Marsh, 63: American television journalist and longtime New York TV anchor, breast cancer.


Brent Briscoe

Oct. 18: Brent Briscoe, 56: American actor and screenwriter (Twin Peaks, A Simple Plan, Swing Blade) who worked often with Billy Bob Thornton and was a busy character actor and was most recently seen in the revived Twin Peaks died from complications from a fall.

Oct. 18: Helen DeVos, 90: American philanthropist (Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital) stroke complications.

Oct. 20: Stan Kowalski, 91: American professional wrestler (AWA, NWA Tri-State, Stampede Wrestling). Wrestler, veteran, patriot, fundraiser and a friend to many.

Oct. 24: Fats Domino, 89: He was one of the first honorees inducted into the Rock & Rock Hall of Fame and is best known for his hits “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t That a Shame.” He is survived by his eight children. He died of natural causes.

Oct. 24: Robert Guillaume, 89: best known for his title role on the 1990 series Benson, Guillaume’s wife confirmed her husband’s passing to CNN. He won Emmys in 1979 and 1985. He died of prostate cancer.

Oct. 25: Ross Powell, 49: American baseball player (Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates) and his father, 72-year old Lyle Powell, were discovered in a lawn care van, dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. Ross Powell had just opened his lawn care franchise a month prior. The fumes were so strong, it sent five first responders to the hospital.

Dennis Banks

Dennis Banks

Oct. 29: Dennis Banks (Nowa Cumin), 80: One of the country’s most influential American Indian activists and one who was a key figure in the 1970s standoff with federal agents at Wounded Knee died at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester from complications following open-heart surgery.


Brad Bufanda

Nov. 1: Brad Bufanda, 34: Best known for his role as Felix in Veronica Mars, died of an apparent suicide in Los Angeles. According to police, Bufanda jumped from a building, committing suicide. His manager said that he was in the process of reviving his career, recently completing two movies.

Nov. 5: Robert Knight, 72: American R&B singer who recorded the first version of “Everlasting Love,” one of the biggest songs to come out of Nashville, died after a short illness. He was a member of the Fairlanes and sang lead for the Paramounts before becoming a solo artist.

Nov. 7: Debra Chasnoff, 60: A 1992 Oscar-winning artist and activist, who saw films as tools for social changes, and made 12 documentaries, died at her home of metastatic breast cancer. She was only 60. She won her Oscar in 1992 for Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment, an expose of the energy giant’s production of nuclear weapons, and made Academy Award history when she came out as a lesbian by thanking her female partner at the time.

Nov. 7: Roy Halladay, 40: Former MLB pitcher (Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies), Cy Young Award winner (2003, 2010) was killed in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. The plane was a two-person aircraft that was owned by Hallady, but he was the only one on board. He was the father of two with his wife Brandy.


John Hillerman

Nov. 9: John Hillerman, 84: American actor, who was best known for playing Higgins on the television show Magnum, P.I. and won an Emmy in 1987, also appeared in Chinatown and Blazing Saddles. He died at his home in Houston, stated a family spokeswoman. She also stated the cause of death had not been determined.

Nov. 12: Liz Smith, 94: American gossip columnist, who wrote for Newsday, New York Daily News and was known as the Longtime Queen of Tabloid Gossip Columns for more than three decades died at her home in Manhattan, her friend and literary agent confirmed. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Nov. 16: Fergie Pacheco, 89: American physician and boxing cornerman, known as the “Fight Doctor” and Muhammad Ali’s physician, died at his home in Miami, in his sleep.

Nov. 17: Aijalon Gomes, 38: American teacher, imprisoned by the Government of North Korean in 2010 was found burned to death over the weekend in a dirt lot in Mission Bay Park in San Diego. The police believe that Gomes likely dies as a result of an accident or suicide.


Earle Hyman

Nov. 17: Earle Hyman, 91: best known for playing Grandpa Huxtable on The Cosby Show, Hyman was a veteran of stages around the world. In addition to The Cosby Show, he was a voice on Thundercats. Hyman died at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey.

Nov. 18: Flawless Sabrina (Jack Doroshow), 78: American drag queen and trans rights activist, was a drag legend. She was a central figure of the New York queer community and was a guide and mentor to countless queer youths for decades.

Nov. 18: Malcolm Young, 64: The AC/DC guitarist and cofounder, died after a three-year battle with dementia.

Nov. 19: Peter Baldwin, 86: American actor and director, who turned prolific Emmy-winning TV director with credits including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Sanford and Son, Murphy Brown and The Wonder Years. He died at his home in Pebble Beach, his son announced. He is also survived by his wife, two daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Nov. 19: Charles Manson, 83: American criminal and cult leader, died in prison from cardiac arrest from colon cancer. I won’t write a single word about his life, but I will list the lives that he and his “family” members ended, way too soon: Sharon Tate, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, Steven Parent, Leno LaBianca and Rosemary LaBianca. These are just the lives that he was “convicted of” taking.


Della Reese

Nov. 19: Della Reese, 86: Della Reese segued from pop to jazz to acting. She had a long career as a popular TV actress on Touched by an Angel. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, friend and pastor. One of her four marriages included a brief, annulled union with Mercer Ellington, son of jazz great Duke Ellington. She is survived by her husband Franklin Lett, a film producer and concert promoter. She died at her home in California.


David Cassidy

Nov. 21: David Cassidy, 67: Pop culture idol of the 1970s, died in a Florida hospital where he had been after suffering from organ failure. He had announced his diagnosis with dementia in early 2017. When he performed at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York in March, he talked about his dementia and said his arthritis made playing guitar an ordeal. He died surrounded by those he loved, free from the pain that had gripped him.

Nov. 25: Bertha Calloway, 92: American historian and museologist, founder of the Great Plains Black History Museum.

Nov. 27: Robert Powell, 66: American bass guitarist who played with The Young Rascals, The Crusaders.

Nov. 27: Bob Seidemann, 75: American rock album cover designer (Blind Faith, Go to Heaven, On the Beach) and a photographer who shot the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin, died from Parkinson’s disease.


Gomer Pyle

Nov. 30: Jim Nabors, 87: American actor (Gomer Pyle, USMC, The Andy Griffith Show, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) whose name was synonymous with the term “bumpkin,” and brought the words “golly” and “shazam” into the vernacular of the American television audience. His series, Gomer Pyle, USMC was a spinoff of The Andy Griffith show and ran for four seasons. Nabors’ 20% cut of the syndication revenue made him financially secure thereafter and allowed him to pursue broader interests as a singer and a comic. He married his partner of 38 years in Washington in 2013, a month after gay marriage became legal in that state. In addition to his partner, Stan Cadwallader, he is survived by two sisters, Freddie and Ruth.

Nov. 30: Ben Sylliboy, 76: Canadian Waycobah grand council chief, spiritual leader of Mi’kmaq.

Dec. 2: Lowell Hawthorne, 57: Jamaican-born American entrepreneur who was the founder and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill shot himself inside the Park Ave. building inside his Bronx factory. He once appeared on Undercover Boss. Apparently the business was plagued by tax debt and a worker’s law suit.

Dec. 4: Christine Keeler, 75: English model and showgirl, at the heart of the Profumo affair, and whose affairs with Russian diplomat and British MP John Profumo caused one of UK’s biggest scandal of the 20th century died from COPD. She had been ill for several months. A major BBC series revisiting the scandal is due to start filming next year.

Dec. 5: August Ames, 23: Canadian pornographic actress, August Ames was one of the most popular porn stars on the Internet. Just days after receiving criticism on social media for refusing to work with certain performers, she was found dead of an apparent suicide by hanging.


Jose Padron

Dec. 5: José Padrón, 91: Cuban-American tobacconist, founder of Piloto Cigars, Inc., some of the world’s best Cuban cigars, died at a hospital in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Dec. 8: Steve Revvis, 55: American actor (Fargo, Geronimo: An American Legend, The Longest Yard).

Dec. 9: Kevin Robinson, 45: veteran BMX professional and Guiness Book of World Records holder and X Games veteran, died of a stroke. By the time he retired in 2013, he had spent nearly 25 years using BMX progression. He is survived by a wife and three children.

Dec. 9: Tom Zenk, 59: American bodybuilder and professional wrestler (WCW, AJPW, WWF).

Dec. 10: Angry Grandpa (better known as Charlie Green Jr.), 67: American Internet personality (YouTube) died after a short battle with skin cancer.

Dec. 10: Jack Boyle, 83: legendary rock concert promoter and venue owner (The Cellar Door) turned Georgetown’s Cellar Door nightclub into the flagship venue of a national concert promotion empire. Known as the Door, it was one of the country’s premier music venues until it closed in 1982. Jack Boyle (the son) stated his father died from complications from dementia. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Dec. 11: Charles Robert Jenkins, 77: American soldier, deserted to North Korea and husband of former Japanese abductee Hitomi Soga.

Dec. 11: Paul T. Fader 58: former Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey (1998-2003).

Dec. 12: Zarley Zalapski, 49: Canadian ice hockey player, played in the NHL between 1987-1998 and a 12-game stint during the 1990-00 season. Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins fourth overall in 1986, Zalapski made stops playing for the Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. During his 637 games of NHL experience, Zalapski scored 99 goals, 285 assists while racking up 684 penalty minutes. He died due to complications of a viral infection.

Dec. 12: Ed Lee, 65: Mayor of San Francisco (since 2011). The city’s first Asian American mayor and the man who presided over the transformation during the recent tech boom died after suffering a heart attack at the age of 65. He collapsed while shopping at a grocery store near his home and was quickly taken by ambulance to San Francisco General Hospital. He died at 1:11am, surrounded by friends and family.


Warrel Dane

Dec. 13: Warrel Dane, 56: American heavy metal singer, who achieved fame with the bands Sanctuary and Nevermore died from a heart attack while in São Paulo, Brazil. It apparently happened during the night and he could not be revived.

Dec. 14: Tamio Oki, 89: Japanese voice actor (Ghost in the Shell, Astro Boy, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure). He had been undergoing medical treatment for an unspecified illness.

Dec. 14: Bob Givens, 99: American animator (Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Garfield and Friends). He died just three months shy of his 100th birthday.

Dec. 14: Yurizan Beltran, 31: American pornographic actress. The owner of the house where she was living found Beltran dead of an apparent drug overdose. Friends confirmed her death. She was a native of Long Beach, Calif. who worked at Hooters before she went into porn.

Dec. 15: Robert Follis, 48: American mixed martial arts coach (Xtreme Couture). Las Vegas authorities confirmed to ESPN that Follis’ death was a suicide from a gunshot to the head. Follis was a head coach at Xtreme Couture for four years and was a key piece of former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate’s camp. But last month, Follis parted way with Xtreme Couture, ending a run that began in 2014.

Dec. 18: Kim Jong-hyun, 27: lead singer of the K-pop group SHINee, was found unconscious at his rented apartment in southern Seoul. Kim’s sister made the initial call to emergency services reporting that she believed her brother was committing suicide. Investigators believe he committed suicide by inhaling toxic fumes, as they discovered coal briquettes burnt on a frying pan upon arriving at the apartment.

Dec. 22: Gerald B. Greenberg, 81: American film editor and 1972 Oscar winner (The French Connection, Apocalypse Now, Scarface). His film editing produced one of the most famous car chases in cinema history. He died after a long illness.

Dec. 22: Victor Llamas, 41: American comic book artist (Batman). Llamas was a veteran inker. He died from medical complications after a long hospital stay.

Dec. 22: Frank “Bobo” Marrapese, 74: American mobster (Patriarca crime family) and murderer, who was known as one of the most vicious enforcers, died at a Rhode Island hospital. He was serving time at the Adult Correctional Institutions for murder.


Jordan Feldstein

Dec. 23: Jordan Feldstein, 40: American music manager for Maroon 5, and brother of Jonah Hill, died of a heart attack, according to the Feldstein family. He and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine were friends from childhood and Feldstein managed the group from their inception, guiding the band as they became one of music’s most successful international touring acts with three Grammy Awards and 20 million albums sold worldwide.

Dec. 24: Heather Menzies-Urich, 68: Canadian-born, American actress, who played the third oldest daughter, Louisa von Trapp in the 1965 film The Sound of Music, died of brain cancer. She was the widow of actor Robert Urich, who died in 2002. She was surrounded by her children and family members.


Sue Grafton

Dec. 28: Sue Grafton, 77: A Louisville, Kent. native, who was a popular mystery writer with a best-selling series of alphabetically titled mystery novels died in California, according to Steve Bass, a family friend. Her heroine was Kinsey Millhone and it started in 1982 with “A is for Alibi.” Grafton published “Y is for Yesterday” earlier this year. Her daughter, Jamie posted to Facebook on Friday that her mother died surrounded by family after a two-year battle with cancer. There won’t be a Millhone book that starts with “Z.” AB: Grafton was one of my mother’s favorite authors.

Dec. 28: Rose Marie, 94: American actress, who was a regular on The Dick Van Dyke Show died at her home in Van Nuys, Calif. She started her career at age 3 in some of the earliest talking films and co-headlined on the opening night of Bugsy Siegel’s Flaminto Hotel in Las Vegas in 1946. She was always identified by the bow in her hair and her raspy voice. Throughout her life, is was active in many causes, most notably animal welfare.

Dec. 30: Erica Garner, 27: American civil rights activist and daughter of police chokehold victim, Eric Garner, passed away at the age of just 27, after suffering a massive heart attack one week earlier.