People We Lost in 2017, January thru March

Jan. 4: Wayne Westner, 55: a former South African golfing star, Westner died in an apparent hostage drama on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. A police spokesperson confirmed that Westner died as a result of a gunshot wound to the right side of his head. He reportedly held his wife hostage before committing suicide.

Jan. 6: Audrey Grevious, 86: American civil rights activist.

Jan. 6: Les Lazarowitz, 75: American sound mixer (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Groundhog Day) cancer.

sylversterpottsJan. 6: Sylvester Potts, 78: American singer and composer from the Motown legendary group The Contours and sang on the world-famous song “Do You Love Me,” passed away at a hospital in Detroit, Mich.

TilikumJan. 6: Tilikum, 35: American-held orca, subject of Blackfish, a documentary, and the orca that killed a trainer at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010 died from a bacterial infection. He was estimated to be 36 years old and was born in waters off Iceland. Trainer Dawn Brancheau died after Tilikum dragged her underwater by her hair and repeatedly struck her, as she performed with him in front of an audience.

Jan. 6: Francine York, 80: American actress, an alluring actress of the 1960s, who was memorable as a villainess on television’s Batman and in films such as Bedtime Story and The Doll Squad died at a hospital in Van Nuys, Calif. after a battle with cancer.

Jan. 8: Mary Ann Green: American tribal leader and politician, Chairperson of the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians (1988-2016) passed away after battling a long illness. She died peacefully at her home in Coachella, surrounded by her family. During her term as Tribal Chairperson, she was instrumental in protecting, maintaining and expanding the government, culture and traditions of the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians on its reservations.

Jan. 8: Roy Inns, 82: American civil rights activist, Parkinson’s disease.

Iconic sequoia treeJan. 8: Pioneer Cabin Tree, c. 1,000: American giant sequoia tree, known as the “tunnel tree” was brought down by a powerful winter California storm. It was carved into a living tunnel more than a century ago. It stood in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park and saw horses and cars pass through it over the years. Most recently, only hikers were allowed to walk through the massive tree. It’s unclear exactly how old the tree was, but the LA Times reported that the trees in the state park are estimated to be more than a thousand years old. Sequoias can live for more than 3,000 years.

Jan. 8: Eli Zelkha, 66: Iranian-born American entrepreneur, inventor of ambient intelligence.

Jan. 9: Timothy Well, 55: American professional wrestler (WWF, PNW, WCW) kidney failure.

Jan. 10: Steve Fryar, 63: American rodeo performer.

Jan. 10: Steven McDonald, 59: American police detective (NYPD), heart attack.

Jan. 10: Manlio Rocchetti, 73: Oscar and Emmy winner (1989) Italian make-up artist (Driving Miss Daisy, Lonesome Dove, Gangs of New York).

Jan. 10: Tony Rosato, 62: Italian-born Canadian actor (Saturday Night Live, SCTV, Night Heat), heart attack. He endured a stint in jail and battled a mental disorder but achieved fame as a cast member of both SCTV and Saturday Night Live.

Jan. 11: Tony Booth, 83: British poster artist (The Beatles), cancer.

Jan. 11: Arthur Manuel, 66: Canadian Neskonlith chief, indigenous rights and environmental activist.

Jan. 11: Christopher Chubasco Wilkins, 48: American murderer, executed by lethal injection in Texas (the first in 2017) for a two-day killing spree in Fort Worth when he killed a man for ripping him off in a $20 drug deal and his friend because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

williampeterblattyJan. 12: William Peter Blatty, 89: novelist and screenwriter (The Exorcist, Legion, A Shot in the Dark), Oscar for best adapted screenplay (1974), multiple myeloma. William Friedkin, who directed the film adaptation of Blatty’s novel, broke the news of his death on Twitter. Myeloma is a form of blood cancer.

Jan. 16. Eugene Cernan, 82: American astronaut (Apollo 10, Apollo 17), last person to walk on the Moon.

Jan. 17: Jim Fagan, 72: American voiceover artist (NBA on NBC, NBA Live), Parkinson’s disease).

Jan. 17: Colo, 60: American-bred, western gorilla, oldest gorilla in captivity.

Jan. 17: William Margold, 73: American pornographic actor and director. He was an adult industry legend and AVN Hall of Famer. He died during the broadcast of his program on XXXPornStarRadio.com from his Los Angeles apartment.

Jan. 19: Wayne Barrett, 71: American journalist (The Village Voice), lung cancer.

miguel_ferrerJan. 19: Miguel Ferrer, 61: actor (RoboCop, Mulan, NCIS: Los Angeles), throat cancer. “Miguel made the world brighter and funnier and his passing is felt so deeply in our family that events of the day, (monumental events), pale in comparison,” cousin George Clooney said in a statement. Ferrer passed peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends. He was the son of actor Jose Ferrer and singer Rosemary Clooney, making him a cousin to George Clooney. He is survived by his wife Lori and son Lukas and Rafi and has a brother, Rafael Ferrer.

Jan. 20: Alec Devon Kreider, 25: convicted murdered, suicide by hanging. He was serving three life terms for brutally murdering Kevin Haines and his parents, Tom and Lisa Haines. Kreider hung himself at SCI Camp Hill.

Jan. 21: Karl Hendricks, 46: American singer, songwriter and guitarist (The Karl Hendricks Trio), oral cancer.

Morrison ObitJan. 21: Walter “Junie” Morrison, 62: American Hall of Fame musician (Ohio Players, Parliament-Funkadelic) and record producer, a true Funk Mastermind. He was the singer, a keyboardist, producer, a one-man studio band. His daughter, Akasha, reported his death on his Facebook page. He was living in London. But others announced his death including his recent collaborator, the musician Dam-Funk and his 1970 band, the Ohio Players. In a 2015 interview for the Red Bull Music Academy website, Mr. Morrison said, “Funk is an excellent platform for moving or removing the ills that may be present in our lives.” Amen to that.

Jan. 23: Bobby Freeman, 76: American singer and songwriter (“Do You Want to Dance”), heart attack.

Jan. 23: Kudditji Kngwarreye, 78-79: Australian Aboriginal artist. He was an Anmatyerre Elder and a custodian of many important Dreamings in Utopia. He was named one of the 50 most collectible artists in Australia in 2007. In died in Alice Spings after a long illness.

Jan. 24: Butch Trucks, 69: The Allman Brothers Band drummer shot himself in the head at his waterfront Florida condo in a horrific scene witnessed by his artist wife of 25 years. Rolling Stone magazine considered him one of the top 10 drummers in rock history.

John HurtJan. 25: Sir John Hurt, 77: the man who could move audiences to tears in The Elephant Man, terrify them in Alien and then spoof them in Spaceballs, died after battling pancreatic cancer since 2015. He was twice nominated for playing the tortured John Merrick in The Elephant Man and for his role as a heroin addict in Midnight Express. His career spanned over 50 years. His most recent role was in the biopic of President JFK (Jackie), he starred at Father Richard McSorley. He died at his home in Norfolk.

Mary Tyler MooreJan. 25: Mary Tyler Moore, 80: she helped define a new vision of American womanhood in two top-rated television shows in the 60s and 70s. But she faced more than her share of private sorrow. In 1980 she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Ordinary People (directed by Robert Redford) when she played a frosty, resentful mother whose son accidentally dies. But it was her role as Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show that ran from 1970 to 1977 that she is best known for. Her family said she died at Greenwich, Conn. hospital from cardiopulmonary arrest after she had contracted pneumonia.

Mannix - 1967-1975Jan. 26: Mike Connors, 91: known best for playing detective Joe Mannix on the 60s-70s show Mannix died in Tarzana, Calif. from leukemia, according to his son-in-law, Mike Condon. Mannix ran for 8 eight seasons (1968-1975) and was the last series from Desilu Productions. Connors won a Golden Globe for his performance as a tough, athletic investigator. He drove a series of muscle cars, including a Dodge Dart and Chevy Camaro. Desilu president Lucille Ball convinced CBS not to cancel the show despite initial poor ratings and it caught on after being retooled. Gail Fisher was one of the few African-American actresses on TV at the time, playing Mannix’s secretary. He is survived by his wife Mary Lou, daughter Dana and a granddaughter.

Jan. 26: Barbara Hale, 94: the actress who play Della Street on Perry Mason passed away from complications of COPD at her home in Sherman Oaks, Calif at age 94. She was the matriarch of a show business family that included her late husband, actor Bill Williams and their son, William Katt, who played the title role in the early 1980s TV series The Greatest American Hero, confirmed her death.

rob-stewart-biographyJan. 31: Rob Stewart, 37: Canadian documentary filmmaker (Sharkwater) who was first reported missing after surfacing from a deep-water dive on the Queen of Nassau wreck near Alligator Reef off Islamorada has know been reported as dead. Cant. Jeffrey Janszen, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Key West confirmed a Key Largo Volunteer Fire Department dive team found Stewart about 300 feet from his last known position. Stewart and a small group of divers were filming the next installment of his Sharkwater series. He and a colleague resurfaced around 5pm. His colleague boarded the boat and passed out. When the crew went to retrieve Steward, he was no longer in sight.

Feb. 2: Jeff Sauer, 73: American ice hockey coach (Wisconsin Badgers) pancreatic cancer.

Feb. 3: Benny Perrin, 57: a former safety with the St. Louis Cardinals took his own life with a self-inflicted gun shot wound. He was one of 4,500 former NFL players who sued the league claiming that concussions suffered during their playing careers made life after football a struggle. Perrin revealed that he suffered from headaches and blurred vision following his retirement. He stated these problems came from the many hits he took while playing. There are many who sacrificed their bodies to play with the NFL. Another Cardinal and 4-time Pro Bowler, Dave Duerson also suffered from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest in 2011. Linebacker Junior Seau also died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest in 2012 at the age of 43. He was found to have CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a neurodegenerative disease that leads to dementia, memory loss and depression.

Tim PiazzaFeb. 4: Tim Piazza, 19 (photo displayed): American student that died in a hazing episode at Pennsylvania State University’s Beta Theta Pi fraternity pledge party. Charges were handed down to eighteen Pennsylvania State students and their fraternity through a grand jury investigation. Piazza died having suffered a nonrecoverable head injury, ruptured spleen and collapsed lung.

Feb. 5: Sonny Gerace, 70: American singer (The Outsiders, Climax).

Feb. 6: Christine Dolce, 35: American model, better known as ForBiddeN on MySpace during its super early days, who had over 2.1 million friends, died from liver failure. Her family stated that she had been hospitalized since December of 2016 after battling with alcohol-related issues. She died at the hospital, surrounded by her family.

Feb. 7: Richard Hatch, 71: known as Captain Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica television series to legions of fans, he also replaced Michael Douglas in the remake of Streets of San Francisco. But it was his starring role in Battlestar Galactica that brought him worldwide recognition as well as a Golden Globe nomination. He passed away in Los Angeles peacefully with his family and friends at his side after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

PackyFeb. 9: Packy, 54: American-born Asian elephant. The Oregon Zoo’s most famous resident, Packy had to be euthanized. He was suffering from a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis. Zoo vets said they had run out of options to treat him. He was the oldest male of his species in North America. AB’s comment: Just ONE of the reasons I hate zoos.

Feb. 10: Miles Cahn, 95: American businessman, co-founder of Coach, Inc., along with his wife, Lillian. They founded Coach in New York in 1961 and sold the company in 1985. He died at his home in Manhattan.

Feb. 11: Chavo Guerrero, Sr., 68: American professional wrestler (NWA, AWA, WWE), liver cancer.

Feb. 12: Damian Davey, 52: British high-energy singer, whose top ten UK hit in 1988, “The Time Warp” died after a 3-year battle with cancer. The song, was a cover from The Rocky Horror Show. He followed it up with a cover of The Sweet’s Wig Wam Bam.

Feb. 12: Al Jarreau, 76: American jazz and R&B singer (“Moonlighting,” “Since I Fell for You,” “We Are the World”), seven-time Grammy Award winner, died shortly after he announced retirement from touring. He had been hospitalized for exhaustion. He was surrounded by family and friends when he died in Los Angeles.

Feb. 13: Aileen Hernandez, 90: American union organizer and women’s rights activist, President of the National Organization for Women (1970-1971).

Feb. 13: Bruce Lansbury, 87: British-American television producer (Murder, She Wrote, The Wild Wild West, Knight Rider) and screenwriter, and the brother of Angela Lansbury died due to complications from Alzheimer’s.

Feb. 18: Omar Abdel-Rahman, 78: Egyptian Muslim leader and convicted terrorist, linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He was known as the “blind sheik.”

nick_dupreeFeb. 18: Nick Dupree, 34: American disability rights activist, advocate, writer, blogger and artist died at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Feb. 18: Tom Larson, 69: American politician, member of the Wisconsin State Assembly (2011-2016) lung cancer.

Feb. 18: Clyde Stubblefield, 73: American drummer (James Brown), kidney failure.

Feb. 21: Ion Croitoru, 53: Canadian pro wrestler (SMW, AWA, WWF) and convicted criminal. Natural causes succeeded where mob hit men and gangsters failed.

Feb. 22: Ronald Blackwood, 91: Jamaican-born American politician, Mayor of Mount Vernon, New York (1985-1996), first elected black mayor in New York state, Parkinson’s disease.

Feb. 22: Ed Garvey, 76: American labor attorney, NFLPA executive director and counsel (1970-1983), who was an icon among Wisconsin’s progressives died in a Verona nursing home where he had been living for two weeks. He was a grad of the University of Wisconsin and its Law School, was the NFL Players Association’s counsel and executive director from 1970-1983, leading the players through two strikes in 1974 and 1982. He then returned to Madison in 1983 as an assistant to then Attorney General Bronson La Follette.

Feb. 24: Daryl, 61: American magician, who was well-known at Los Angeles’ Magic Castle, committed suicide by hanging. Taking his own life was intentional, the coroner’s office confirmed.

Bill PaxtonFeb. 25: Bill Paxton, 61: charismatic, charming, a memorable supporting actor and genuinely talented performer who could inflect his voice or body language and get amazing results. From Weird Science to Aliens to True Lies and on to Twister and Titanic, there are way too many roles to list. He also made his mark behind the camera in 2001 when he directed Frailty. He recently co-starred in Training Day on CBS and has a role in The Circle. He apparently died from complications from surgery according to a family statement.

Feb. 26: Joseph Wapner, 97: American judge who started in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and went on to television (The People’s Court, Judge Wapner’s Animal Court). His son told the AP that his father was suffering from breathing problems and was admitted to a hospital. He returned home under the care of hospice.

Feb. 28: Ric Marlow, 91: American songwriter (A Taste of Honey) and actor (Bonanza, Magnum, PI, Hawaii Five-O).

March 3: Tommy Page, 46: Singer, songwriter, music industry executive, best known for his No. 1 single “I’ll Be Your Everything,” was found dead by several friends. Although the cause of death was unclear, several believe it was an apparent suicide.

Vince RhinoMarch 5: Vince, 4: Dutch-born rhinoceros, shot and had his horn sawed off, was killed by poachers in a wild-life zoo outside Paris. It was probably carried out by organized crime and showed the intricate planning that usually goes into art heists, said French police. Officials say it was the first crime of its kind in Europe.

March 6: Robert Osborne, 84: American film historian and television host for Turner Classic Movies died of natural causes in his sleep at home in New York, said his partner of 20 years, theater director and producer David Staller.

March 7: Ron Bass, 68: American professional wrestler (CWA, CWF, WWE) died after surgery from an apparent burst appendix.

Kim, Debbie, Joni, and Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge photographed in 1981.March 10: Joni Sledge, 60: Member of the “We Are Family” hitmakers Sister Sledge, passed away at home in Phoenix, Ariz. She was the second eldest sister of the hit pop group. She is survived by her son, and her sisters.

March 18: Chuck Berry, 90: One of the creators of rock and roll, Hall of Fame guitarist, singer and songwriter (Johnny B. Goode, Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven) was found unresponsive at home. According to a statement on Berry’s Facebook page, he “spent his last days at home, surrounded by the love of his family and friends.” He was 90.

March 21: Chuck Barris, 87: Television producer, game show creator, television host (The Gong Show, The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game) and songwriter (Palisades Park) died of natural causes at his home in Palisades, NY. His innovative shows changed the face of reality TV, but critics nicknamed him “The King of Schlock,” “The Baron of Bad Taste” and “The Ayatollah of Trasherola.”

Francine HughesMarch 22: Francine Hughes, 69: subject of The Burning Bed, a domestic abuse symbol, died after a bout with pneumonia in Leighton, Alabama. It was 40 years ago March 9 that Hughes walked into the Ingham County Jail in Mason and confessed that, fearing for her life, she had set fire to her home in Dansville, where Hughes, by that time her ex-husband, was sleeping. It was the case that made a turning point in the growing movement against domestic violence. It inspired the bestselling book and the TV movie – The Burning Bed.

March 23: Lola Albright, 92: she starred opposite Kirk Douglas in Champion and in Peter Gunn.

March 28: Darlene Cates, 69: lovable, impressionable and oh so talented, Cates was born in Texas. When her parents divorced when she was 12, she began overeating which manifested itself into obesity. At 410 lbs she underwent gastroplasty and dropped 100 lbs but gained it back plus 140 more pounds. She was discovered by author and screenwriter Peter Hedges who proposed she play the obese mother in the 1993 film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. She made other appearances in Picket Fences, Touched by an Angel and other shows. She died in her sleep.

March 28: Michael Sharp (United States citizen) and Zaida Catalan (Swedish national) U.N. investigators and their Congolese interpreter who were missing since March 12 were found in the Congo in an area engulfed in a violent uprising. They were part of a group of experts monitoring a sanctions regime imposed on the Congo by the U.N. Security Council when they disappeared in Kasai Central province. DNA tests and dental records were being used to confirm the identities.

March 29: Katherine Smith, 98: Defender of Navajo land who once warded off federally employed fencing crews with a shotgun during the infamous and protracted Navajo-Hopi relocation said goodbye to the land she loved and defended. “In our beliefs, when a death occurs the weather will tell you how blessed they were,” said Smith’s daughter, Marykatherine Smith. “We see rain, wind and snow as prosperity. So she was very blessed.”

March 30: Donald Harvey, 64: American serial killer, died after an assault in a Toledo prison cell. He was nicknamed the “Angel of Death” for pleading guilty to 37 murders while serving as a nurse’s aide at hospitals in Cincinnati and London, KY. Harvey said he did so to stop patients’ suffering.

March 31: Gilbert Baker, 65: Artist and gay activist, creator of the rainbow flag, died in his sleep in his apartment in Harlem. It’s believe a stroke that Baker suffered about two years ago may be related.

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2017’s Most Sinful Cities (by WalletHub)

Of course Las Vegas is in the top spot, but New Orleans, LA is No. 10. The newest article to rate America’s most sinful places arrived in my inbox this morning from WalletHub.

The state of Nevada actually had three cities on the list; Louisiana had two. Orlando, Fla., home to Mickey and Minnie Mouse was rated number two as most sinful. That was kind of difficult to believe, but I haven’t been there in quite a while.

If you’d like to read the report for yourself, go here: https://wallethub.com/edu/most-sinful-cities-in-america/29846/

 

Want to Know What’s Coming on TV to Scare the Pants off of You?

Well here’s a link to Channel Guide Magazine‘s 2017 Fright Guide.
https://9c519110712a1cc5ffdf-b1b745d17d9877b298ac94fd86f5428e.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com/Fright-Guide-2017.pdf
Every year the staff at puts their heads together to produce the most comprehensive list of Daily Listings, Movies, Specials and this year, a bonus. Read about the 13 Most Shocking Horror Movies you may have missed.

Mobile, Ala. Is the Newest Location on The First 48

Not only are they playing new episodes of The First 48, they’re in a new city. Thursday’s episode (August 4) was in Mobile, Ala. Since I’ve seen every episode, I don’t think they’ve ever been in Mobile, or I would have remembered the fact that Mobile is the city with the oldest Mardi Gras.

Mobile, is a very intriguing city, with talented and interesting homicide detectives (and they all seem to have a sense of humor). Their motto, or at least the one on their coffee cups is “Homicide, our day begins when your’s ends.”

The one that really had me laughing was the one that was spoken three minutes into the show by Det. Julius Nettles, “if we’re not eating as a unit, we’re not eating.”

The other interesting thing I noticed about Mobile, and it could just have been the case they were working, or this particular murder victim, but when the detectives were looking for witnesses, I never once heard, “I didn’t see anything,” or I don’t know nothing,” I didn’t hear nothing.” Mobile citizens were calling the police to give them information.

With the information from the community and armed with what they find on Facebook – yes, Facebook, they track one of the killers down in the first 16 hours.

What follows is nothing short of hysterical. Just when they’re going to call it a day, a tip comes in about where their suspect is and they find him hiding at his grandmother’s house. They finally convince her to come to the door, she continually denies that he’s even in the house, yet he can be seen through the windows. They get her out of the house, they go in and get him. Now they stay at the house while they wait for a search warrant, and poor grandma has to sit in her front yard while all this goes on.

Once the criminal is in the interrogation room it starts at “I didn’t kill anyone,” to “It was just a robbery,” and when they get sick of hearing that, Det. Nettles shames the guy into crying. But the guy’s only crying because he knows he’s caught and he doesn’t know what to do or say to get out of it. What a wimpy, cry baby little twerp. Hardly worth time and trouble. When he finally calms down and says he want to talk, he says “Zebbie killed him.”

They hit the streets to find Zebbie, but they don’t. So, it’s finally time to eat. Back at the station, they hear from a relative of Zebbie’s, and get him in custody.

This episode ends with Zebbie also going into custody for the murder.

A different city with homicide detectives who get the job done. Three out of every four homicides in Mobile get solved. Higher than the national average.

Recently I heard that the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, may be considering a run for President in the near future. I wonder if he’ll use Facebook crime statistics as a part of his platform.

Today is Global Tiger Day

This is way off from my usual postings, but I am still working on my YA fiction book about canned hunts and tigers are popular in that category.

I received this stunning photo in my email this morning from WWF (World Wildlife Fund). Bhutan, where the high-resolution camera trap caught this image of a wild tiger, is home to an estimated 103 wild tigers. This tiny country works to ensure tiger safety and natural breeding against a backdrop of poaching and illegal wildlife traders.

Bhutan is probably the smallest country where wild tigers live and is fast becoming one of the biggest conservation champions.

Bhutan is located on the southern slopes of the eastern Himalayas, landlocked between the Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and the Indian states of Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to the west and south (per google.com).

Sick of Bachelorette, Visit Midnight, Texas this Summer

Filmed on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico and other locations including the Castañeda Hotel, Las Vegas and Rio Roca Fria Hotel, Midnight, Texas is a cross between True Blood and Twilight.

Midnight is actually a town where those who are a little “different” can live safely, away from the outsiders who would normally give them trouble. And you know what they say about “safety in numbers.”

Manfred Bernardo is a psychic and gypsy fortune teller. He’s played by François Arnaud (you’ll probably recognize him from Blindspot and The Borgias) and is on the run from a voice on his phone and is led to Midnight, Tex. by his grandmother (a ghost who lives in his caravan RV). He’s not there long when there’s a murder and being a powerful psychic, the victim, visits him in his rented house.

The special effects are being handled by some of the best special and visual effects people in the business. They grab you and pull you in within the first three minutes of the show and won’t disappointment you during the next 48 minutes. Don’t miss the last twelve minutes if you really want to know what the residents of Midnight, Texas are all about.

The stories of the next ten episodes are in the capable hands of eight great writers including Charlaine Harris, who also penned the True Blood books and the book series, Midnight, Texas is based on.

Other cast members include Dylan Bruce, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Arielle Kebbel, and Peter Mensah, who played Kibwe in True Blood.

Midnight, Texas, 10 episodes, 10pm ET, Mondays, one hour

2016 Obits – September through December

jerry-hellerSeptember 2: Jerry Heller, 75: N.W.A.’s controversial original manager and music veteran died of a heart attack at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Heller was in his mid-40s when he joined with Easy-E and the Ruthless Records label. But Heller’s efforts helped N.W.A. make hardcore hip-hop popular around the world. Outspoken, he sued the makers of the 2015 hit biopic Straight Outta Compton and was the subject of numerous dis songs and videos.

September 6: Darren Seals, 29: Ferguson activist, who protected the streets and sought justice for Michael Brown Jr.’s death died in North St. Louis County from a gun shot wound. He was a factory line worker and a hip-hop musician and became an activist following the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer.

September 7: Bobby Chacon, 64: world champion boxer (1974-1975, 1982-1983) from San Fernando Valley and suffered from the effects of brain damage, fell and struck his head in a Hemet care facility and succumbed to his injuries.

ladychablis-1473340985September 8: The Lady Chablis, 59: Savannah actress, who was best known for her role in Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil, passed away surrounded by friends and family, from pneumonia. Lady Chablis was known as a premiere Savannah entertainer, one of Club One’s first.

September 11: Alexis Arquette, 47: transgender actress and activist, who was known for playing a Boy George inspired character in The Wedding Singer has died. She was a sibling of Patricia, Rosanna, David and Richmond Arquette. Cause of death has not been confirmed.

September 16: Edward Albee, 88: Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Delicate Balance.

September 16: W.P. Kinsella, 81: Canadian novelist who blended magical realism and baseball in the book that became the smash hit film Field of Dreams.

September 16: Trisco Pearson, 53: R&B singer from the Force MDs, cancer.

September 16: Gabe Regard, 45: reality TV personality from Ax Men, did in a car crash.

September 17: Chairman Carr, 73: actress and singer who played Liesl in The Sound of Music and sang “I am 16 going on 17,” died from complications from dementia. She is survived by her sisters and brothers, her niece and her four grandchildren.

September 20: Curtis Hanson, 71: film director, screenwriter and Oscar winner (1998) for L.A. Confidential but also helmed such box-office hits like The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992) and Eminem’s 8 Mile (2002) died at his home in the Hollywood Hills. Paramedics had been called to the scene and found him. Friends stated that he had been battling a rare terminal condition for some time known as frontotemporal degeneration. Similar to Alzheimer’s, with its own set of symptoms and challenges.

September 21: George T. Odom, 66: actor (Straight Out of Brooklyn, The Hurricane, Law & Order), who also wrote scripts. He is survived by his sister, children, grandson and other family.

September 25: José Fernández, 24: Cuban-born American baseball player (Miami Marlins) was one of three men killed in a boating accident. None of them was wearing a life vest. Fernández died from trauma, not drowning.

kashif-copySeptember 25: Kashif, 59: producer, Whitney Houston collaborator and B.T. Express member died at his home of undetermined causes.

September 25: Arnold Palmer, 87: Golfing great who brought a country-club sport to the masses with a hard-charging style, charisma and a commoner’s touch.

September 26: Toughie: Panamanian frog, likely the last of his species (Rabbs fringe-limbed tree frog) died quietly in his enclosure at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

September 28: Chamsulvara Chamsulvarayev, 32: Russian-born Azeri freestyle wrestler and ISIS terrorist, killed in an air strike.

September 28: Gary Glasberg, 50: NCIS Showrunder and beloved executive producer on the most watched show in the world passed away in his sleep, suddenly. He was a married father of two and was juggling duties on NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans.

September 28: Shimon Peres, 93: Former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state and who was celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace.

September 30: George Barris, 94: the man who took the last photos of Marilyn Monroe on a beach in July of 1962, died at his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. After he photographed Monroe, he moved to France after her death and remained there for two decades. In 1995, he published a book, Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words: Marilyn Monroe’s Revealing Last Words and Photographs, that featured his iconic photos. He claimed that they had been working on the book together. They had become friends after they met on the set of The Seven-Year Itch (1955).

cameron-mooreOctober 5: Cameron Moore, 25: basketball center (Reyer Venezia Mestre) was betrayed by his heart condition while training with first division team AV Ohrid from FYROM. He was diagnosed with cardiomegaly in 2015.

October 5: Josh Samman, 28: mixed martial arts fighter from Tallahassee died in South Florida. He had been hospitalized later in the week and was in a coma. He was moved to hospice, was breathing and had pulse. Police suspected it may have been a drug overdose.

October 5: Rod Temperton, 66: English keyboardist (Heatwave) and songwriter (Rock With You, Give Me the Night, Thriller) after a brief aggressive battle with cancer. Other hits included Off The Wall and Baby Be Mine for Jackson and Boogie Nights for his band, Heatwave.

October 12: Rick Gudex, 48: politician, member of the Wisconsin Senate (since 2013) died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest, stated the Fond du Lac County Medical Examiner’s Office. His body was found around 1:30am in the Town of Eden. Toxicology rest results are pending.

quentin-grovesOctober 15: Quentin Groves, 32: football payer, Auburn career sacks leader and NFL defensive end/linebacker apparently died from a heart attack.

October 16: Jia Jia, 38: Chinese giant panda, the world’s largest, was euthanized at Hong Kong’s Ocean park. She had been losing interest in food and losing weight over the past few weeks.

michael-massee-24_0October 20: Michael Massee, 64: the prolific villain in countless television shows died of cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He most recently appeared as a guest star across 12 episodes of 24’s first season in 2001 as Ira Gaines, a leader of a terror cell. I know him from his appearance in Rizzoli & Isles and Criminal Minds. He also appeared on Carnivale, Alias and Flashforward. Massee was the actor who pulled the trigger on a faulty prop gun that accidentally killed Brandon Lee during production of a scene on 1994’s The Crow.

October 22: Steve Dillon, 54: English comic book artist known for Preacher, The Punisher and Judge Dredd died in New York City from appendicitis.

October 25: Kevin Curran, 59: Emmy winner and longtime Simpsons writer who spent 15 year on the show died Tuesday at his home after a long illness. He is survived by a son and daughter that he had with his former partner, author Helen Fielding.

October 29: Norman Brokaw, 89: talent agent and influential William Morris leader who basically built the television department from scratch, died in Beverly Hills after a long illness. Some of his clients included Marilyn Monroe, Danny Thomas, Clint Eastwood, Bill Cosby, Loretta Young, Andy Griffith, Natalie Wood and more.

leonard-cohenNovember 7: Leonard Cohen, 82: Canadian singer-songwriter. His intensely personal lyrics explored themes of love, faith, death and philosophical longing made him a cult artist and whose song “Hallelujah” became a anthem recorded by hundreds of artists. He was a poet and a novelist before he stepped onto the stage as a performer in the 60s.

November 7: Janet Reno, 78: lawyer, politician, and the first woman to serve as U.S. Attorney General (1993-2001) died from complications of Parkinson’s disease. She was one of the Clinton administration’s most recognizable figures and faced criticism early in her tenure for the raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas. In the spring of 2000, she authorized the armed seizure of then 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez from the home of his relatives so he could be returned to Cuba with his father.

robert-vaughn-2-shotNovember 11: Robert Vaughn, 83: his Napoleon Solo on NBC’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. set TV’s standard for suavity and crime busting cool died after a brief battle with acute leukemia. He died with his family around him.

November 13: Leon Russell, 74: Hall of Fame musician and songwriter, emerged in the 70s as one of rock ’n roll’s dynamic performers and songwriters after playing anonymously on dozens of pop hits as a much in-demand studio pianist in the 60s. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. He died in his sleep in Nashville, Tenn., his wife said in a statement on his website.

November 14: Gwen Ifill, 61: veteran journalist and newscaster who co-anchored PBS NewsHour and broke gender and racial barriers along the way died from endometrial cancer while covering this year’s presidential election.

mahpiya-skaNovember 14: Mahpiya Ska (White Cloud), 20: White Cloud, North Dakota’s iconic albino buffalo has died of old age. Genetic testing early in her life revealed that White Cloud was a true albino and also a genetically pure bison. Bison have a life expectancy of 20-25 years. Her white hair made it difficult for her to regulate her body temperature in the winter and summer and may have been a factor in her health problems.

November 14: David Mancuso, 72: DJ and pioneer of the NYC Underground Club Scene and the legendary “invite-only” parties, later known as The Loft. He pioneered the idea of underground private parties in New York in the early 70s as an alternative to the city’s commercial nightclub scene, which quickly took off and became a haven for exciting dance music in the city. A cause of death is unknown.

November 15: Lisa Lynn Masters, 52: actress who guest-starred in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Gossip Girl and Ugly Betty died while traveling in Peru. It is believed to be an apparent suicide by hanging.

November 17: Steve Triglia, 54: A British stuntman was killed in an abseil race from helicopter. According to The Sun, he fell 90m in China. Other details are not available. Ropes that were used had been left out overnight in heavy rain, making them potentially unsafe for the event. Triglia was well known for his work on James Bond and Mission Impossible films.

sharon-jonesNovember 18: Sharon Jones, 60: soul and funk revival band member of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings passed away after a sustained battle with pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. She was first diagnosed in 2013 and after surgery and some treatment, she went out touring with the band in 2014. But her cancer returned in November of 2015, two years after the release of the band’s album, Give the People What They Want. She was also the subject of a recent documentary, Miss Sharon Jones!, chronicling her first battle with cancer and her relationship with the Dap-Kings.

http://pitchfork.com/news/67585-sharon-jones-dead-at-60/

November 24: Florence Henderson, 84: born in Dale, IN, Florence Henderson career spanned six decades. She is best known for her role as matriarch Carol Brady on the ABC sitcom The Brady Bunch which ran from 1969 to 1974. She also hosted cooking and variety shows and was on Dancing with the Stars in 2010. She died of heart failure on Thanksgiving Day.

November 25: Fidel Castro, 90: He led his bearded rebels to victorious revolution in 1959, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of U.S. presidents during his half-century of rule in Cuba.

ron-glassNovember 25: Ron Glass, 71: he was the stylish and sassy NYPD detective on Barney Miller. He was an aspiring author. He was Shepherd Booth on the short-lived, cult favorite Firefly (as well as the movie Serenity), and his lengthy resume continues with voiceover work on Rugrats, Superman, Aladdin and The Proud Family. A spokesperson confirmed that he died of respiratory failure.

November 26: Fritz Weaver, 90: Tony-Winning character actor died at his home in Manhattan, confirmed my his son-in-law.

November 28: Jim Delligatti, 98: you probably don’t recognize his name, but there’s a “Big” chance you’ve eaten his invention. Jim Dellligatti’s McDonald’s franchise created the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago and saw it become the best-known fast-food sandwich in the world. He died at home in Pittsburgh. According to his son, Delligatti ate at least one Big Mac (540 calories) a week for decades.

November 28: Keo Woodford, 49: filmmaker and actor (Hawaii Five-0, Godzilla, Act of Valor) died from complications from a stroke.

November 28: Brazilian people killed in the crash of LaMia Flight 2933: Ailton Canela, 22; Dener Assunção Braz, 21; Sérgio Manoel Barbosa Santos, 27; Matheus Biteco, 21; Mateus Caramelo, 22; Ananias Eloi Castro Monteiro, 27; Victorino Chermont, 43 (reporter); Paulo Julio Clement, 51 (commentator); José Gildeixon Clemente de Paiva, 29; Guilherme Gimenez de Souza, 21; Lucas Gomes da Silva, 26; Josimar, 30; Caio Júnior, 51 (player and manager); Everton Kempes dos Santos Gonçalves, 34; Filipe Machado, 32; Arthur Maia, 24; Marcelo Augusto Mathias da Silva, 25; Delfim Peixoto, 75 (politician and football executive; vice-president of CBF, president of Federacão Catarinense de Futebol and congressman); Deva Pascovicci, 51 (announcer Fox Sports); Mário Sérgio Pontes de Paiva, 66 (football player, manager and commentator Fox Sports); Bruno Rangel, 34; Tiaga da Rocha Vieira, 22; Cléber Santana, 35; Thiego, 30; Marcos Danilo Padiha, 31 (died on November 29 from injuries)

December 1: Joe McKnight, 28: former USC running back was shot and killed following a road rage altercation just outside New Orleans in Terrytown, Louisiana. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The shooter, 54-year old Ronald Gasser, remained at the scene and was arrested.

December 5: Big Syke (Tyruss Himes), 41: rapper and Tupac collaborator, apparently died of natural causes. Big Syke was found dead in his home in Hawthorne, Calif., according to law enforcement sources. No foul play is suspected.

December 5: Rahsaan Salaam, 42: former Chicago Bears football player and Heisman trophy winner (1994) was found dead at a park in Boulder, Colo. Police have determined that there were no signs of foul play. His mother told USA Today that “they found a note” and police told her it was a suspected suicide.

cindy-stowellDecember 5: Cindy Stowell, 51: Jeopardy! contestant Cindy Stowell never saw herself on Jeopardy!. She was fighting Stage 4 colon cancer when she recorded episodes in August and September, competing on painkillers and fighting off a fever that caused makeup artists to rush onstage to clean up her sweat. She died just over a week before her taped episodes began showing. But once the world saw her compete and heard her story, she inspired fans unlike anyone in the quiz shows’s 33-year history. Before dying she pledged her more than $100,000 in winnings to the Cancer Research Institute.

December 6: Peter Vaughan, 93: He played Maester Aemon for 5 years in the HBO series, Game of Thrones. He had many other roles in British TV shows including Citizen Smith, Chancer and Our Friends in the North. He died peacefully with his family around him.

lake-center-elpDecember 7: Greg Lake, 69: English singer, musician and front man for both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer died after a “long and stubborn battle with cancer,” said his manager. His band-mate, Keith Emerson died nine months earlier of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

December 8: John Glenn, 95: His 1962 flight as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the U.S. Senate.

December 10: Eric Michael Hilton, 83: founded Three Square food bank almost a decade ago when he discovered that Clark County, Nevada would soon be without a food bank. The youngest son of Hilton Hotels Corp. founder Conrad Hilton, Texas native Eric Hilton began working for his father’s company in 1949 and was promoted several times before retiring as vice chairman emeritus in 1997. He lived in many places, including Las Vegas, before becoming a full-time valley resident in 2013. He died in his sleep at his Las Vegas home.

December 11: Bob Kkrasnow, 82: record label executive of Electra Records and co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

December 12: Konrad Neuland, 29: former tight end with the Baltimore Ravens died following a brain aneurysm. He had emergency surgery two weeks earlier in hopes of rectifying the issue, but succumbed and died. 

colburnDecember 13: Lawrence Manley Colburn, 67: he was the helicopter gunner in the Vietnam War who helped end the slaughter of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers by U.S. troops at My Lai. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in 2001 for his actions and received the Soldier’s Medal, the highest U.S. military award for bravery not involving conflict with the enemy.His wife said her husband was diagnosed with cancer in late September and it took his life.

December 13: Alan Thicke, 69: sit-com actor, talk show host, reality TV star, composter, author. Alan Thicke didn’t just wait around for the phone to ring. He gained his greatest renown as the beloved dad on the sitcom Growing Pains. He died of a ruptured aorta.

December 15: Craig Sager, 65: Sager sported suits in every color of the rainbow and beyond. But he was better known for his probing questions when covering the Olympics, Major League Baseball playoffs, the NFL and NCAA tournaments. But he loved the NBA and worked games for TNT for nearly a quarter-century. He had leukemia.

December 17: Henry Heimlich, 96: Surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking victims. Complications from a heart attack.

December 18: Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99: a social butterfly well before there was social media. She was well known more for beauty and glamour than acting and was a regular on TV talk shows and for her nine marriages. She died at her Bel Air home from a heart attack.

December 19: Andrei Karlov, 62: Russian diplomat and Ambassador to Turkey (since 2013), he was shot dead in Ankara by a Turkish policeman, apparently in protest of Russia’s involvement in Aleppo.

red-solo-cupDecember 21: Robert Leo Hulseman, 84: the man who launched hundreds of thousands of keg parties died in Northfield, Illinois, surrounded by his family. Hulseman is credited with inventing the Red Solo Cup in the 70s. His father, Leo, founded the Solo Cup Company in the 1930s. Part of the popularity of the cup is its inside rings which mark 1.5 ounces for liquor, 5 ounces for wine and 12 ounces for beer. Though it’s not clear why the cup was made bright red, the Solo Cup brand manager, Rebecca Bikoff told “Vice” in June ‘It makes sense that consumers would gravitate to this color when you think about the kind of occasions it’s used at.’ Hulseman began working at his father’s company at 18 in various roles until it was a $1.6 billion a year in revenue.

george-michaelDecember 25: George Michael, 53: he rose to fame as part of the 80s pop duo Wham and went on to sell more than 100 million albums in a career that spanned four decades. He was a songwriter (Careless Whisper, Last Christmas, Faith). He died at his home of suspected heart failure.

December 27: Carrie Fisher, 60: known best for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, Carrie Fisher was also a novelist and a screenwriter. Her son, Billie Lourd, confirmed that his mother passed away at approximately 9am in morning on the 27th. Her mother, the iconic Debbie Reynolds wrote on Facebook, “Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing carrie-fisherdaughter.” Fisher suffered a heart attack last week aboard a Los Angeles-bound flight 15 minutes prior to landing. A medic on board performed CPR until paramedics arrived and she was transferred to UCLA Medical Center where she was immediately placed on a ventilator. George Lucas said, “In Star Wars, she was our great and powerful princess — feisty, wise and full of hope in a role that was more difficult than most people might think.” Harrison Ford, who played alongside Fisher added: “Carrie was one-of-a-kind, brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely.” Mark Hamill tweeted: no words #Devastated and included a picture of himself as Luke Skywalker and Fisher as Princess Leia. I think Billie Dee Williams said it best, “The force is dark today!”

la-me-debbie-reynoldsDecember 28: Debbie Reynolds 84: she was a triple threat: she sang, she danced, she acted. And her death was tragic, coming one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher. It’s reported that she said she wanted to “see her again” and within 30 minutes she suffered a stroke and died. Reynolds’ son, Todd, told the media that his mother was under stress over the death of her daughter and suffered that stroke at her home around noon. To read more about the lifetime of Debbie Reynolds, here’s the link to her obit in the LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-me-debbie-reynolds-20161228-story.html

December 28: Pan Pan, 31: world’s oldest male giant panda, who would have been 100 in human years, passed away.

December 29: Keion Carpenter, 39: football player (Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons) and former Woodlawn High School, died from injuries sustained from a fall.

sutter-brownDecember 30: “It took a dog to humanize the Capitol,” said Jennifer Fearing, a lobbyist for animal rights issues who was one of Sutter Brown’s unofficial caretakers in Sacramento. Sutter was the charismatic corgi who seemed to soften the rough edges of Gov. Jerry Brown. In the process, he became a social media sensation. He died after an illness that sparked a bipartisan outpouring of support.

william-christopherDecember 31: William Christopher, 84: the actor best known for play Father John Mulcahy on the hit TV show M.A.S.H. died, according to his family. His son said he died from non-small cell lung cancer at his home in Pasadena.

Why Do We Mourn Celebrities?

This morning while I was making my bed and watching Good Morning America, I heard that Debbie Reynolds died. I was blown away. Just one day after she lost her daughter, Carrie Fisher, apparently she suffered a stroke while making funeral arrangements. The mystery of death.

The panel went on to discuss a newsweek.com article about why we mourn celebrity deaths, so I looked it up. It was written April 22, 2016 and explained quite a bit of why we mourn rock stars, celebrities and other famous people who die.

According to the article, nostalgia is a kind of pain, an acute longing for the familiar. That explains why when Prince, David Bowie and George Michael passed away, we tend to download or stream their music and recall what we were doing when we first heard those particular songs.

Apparently George Michael’s music downloads have increased by 1600% since his death.

The article goes on to say that “we’re not very well served by our culture because it tends to keep the genuine tragedy of death at bay.”

Instead of mourning at funerals, we hold celebrations. This is a time to mourn and that’s being denied. It offered some advice.

Wisdom based traditions advise practicing mourning. Socrates said that philosophy is “learning to die.” Buddhists meditate before skeletons. Christians keep Good Friday. And it’s good advice.

http://www.newsweek.com/why-do-we-mourn-celebrity-deaths-451393

 

The Mystery of Life & Death – Mother & Daughter – Fisher & Reynolds

Just one day after it was announced that Carrie Fisher died, her famous mother, Debbie Reynolds died of a stroke, apparently brought on while making funeral arrangements.

They were so close, but so different and they had their ups and downs, but in their final years they were inseparable. They even filmed a documentary for HBO.

Fisher ReynoldsBright Lights: Starring Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher is a documentary about the extraordinary bond that they formed over six decades in the glare of showbiz’s spotlight. The documentary screened in October at the New York Film Festival also screened in Cannes.

The movie shows the close and volatile relationship that mother and daughter maintained through their personal and professional ups and downs. Fisher talks candidly about her battles with mental illness.

HBO has not yet scheduled the documentary for showing.

2016 Obits – May through August

71824088AB025_tupacMay 2: Afeni Shakur Davis, 69: Tupac Shakur’s mother, died in Marin County, Calif. of possible cardia arrest, though a confirmed cause of death has not been reported. (Annette Brown/Getty Images)

May 4: Blas Avena, 32: Las Vegas Police are investigating the death of this mixed martial art fighter as a suicide. He was found in his apartment and was pronounced deceased at the scene by arriving police and medical personnel. He had an 8-7 record  that began in 2005. He last appeared at Bellator 96 on June 19, 2013.

May 5: Matt Irwin, 36: celebrity and fashion photographer who captured Taylor Swift, Rihanna, One Direction, Kesha and Nicki Minaj, among others, died unexpectedly. Irwin (courtesy of Camilla Lowther Management)

May 8: William Schallert, 93: Schallert’s career spanned generations and genres. He played the long-suffering father and uncle to the “identical cousins” played by Patty Duke on The Patty Duke Show and earned a permanent place in the hearts of Star Trek fans in 1967 when he played the under secretary in charge of agricultural affairs for the United Federation of Planets in “The Trouble With Tribbles.” That episode is often cited by fans and critics as one of the best episodes of the original Star Trek series. Though never a leading man, Schallert was the embodiment of the supporting, working actor. Schallert’s son Edwin confirmed his death.

May 10: Sally Brampton, 60: fashion editor, author, columnist – the woman who made ‘Elle girls’ the new normal, who had written eloquently about her dark period of depression, took her own life close to her home in St Leonards-on-Sea. She once wrote, “We don’t kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive.”

May 13: Bill Backer, 89: advertising executive who penned the song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (Coca-Cola) and was recently featured in the finale of Mad Men died in Warrenton, Va. His wife and only survivor confirmed his death.

May 17: Guy Clark, 74: Texas native and grammy-winning songwriter died after a long illness according to a statement from his publicist.

Obit Morley SaferMay 19: Morley Safter, 84: CBS News legend, who work on 60 Minutes embodied the show’s 50 years on air, died of pneumonia, according to CBS. Safer exposed a military atrocity in Vietnam that played an early role in changing American’s view of the war. He once claimed  “there is no such thing as the common man; if there were, there would be no need for journalists.”

May 19: Alan Young, 96: known for his role as Wilbur Post in the TV show Mr. Ed.

May 21: Nick Menza, 51: died after he collapsed on stage during a show with his current band, Ohm. Menza played on many of Megadeth’s most successful albums. He allegedly died of heart failure.

May 27: Marshall “Rock” Jones, 75: bass player (Ohio Players).

May 27: Hanako, 69: an aged Japanese elephant, whose living conditions sparked protests earlier this year died, said zoo officials. She was the country’s oldest elephant. She was found lying on the floor of her enclosure, unable to stand.

May 28: Harambe, 17: American-bred Western lowland gorilla, shot at the Cincinnati zoo to save a child who slipped into his enclosure.  It carried the boy around its habitat for about 10 minutes in what the zoo’s dangerous animal response team considered a life-threatening situation, said the Zoo Director, at a press briefing.

May 28: Floyd Robinson, 83: American country singer.

June 1: Roger Enrico, 71: American businessman (PepsiCo, Dreamworks).

aliJune 3: Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), 74: called himself “The Greatest”, three-time WBC world heavyweight boxing champion who could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Fans on every continent adored him and at one point, he was probably the most recognizable man on the planet. Ali died of septic shock after spending five days at an Arizona hospital for what seemed to be respiratory problems but eventually worsened. His wife and children were called to his bedside to say goodbye. More details came as Ali’s family revealed plans for his funeral in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Ali suffered for more than three decades from Parkinson’s disease and had survived several death scares in recent years.

June 6: Kimbo Slice (The Truth), 42: Bahamian-born, American mixed martial artist, (Bellator, UFC) boxer and actor. He was rushed to the hospital on June 3 after suffering congestive heart failure and a liver mass. He was diagnosed with heart failure and placed on a ventilator. He died at 7:30pm while being prepared for transfer to a facility in Cleveland.

GTV ARCHIVEJune 6: Theresa Saldana, 61: she played the wife of Joey La Motta (Joe Pesci) in Raging Bull and she played the wife of The Commish. But her most lasting legacy will be her victims’ advocacy work she undertook when she survived an almost fatal stalking incident in 1982. A Brooklyn native, Saldana had appeared in a number of films in the late 70s and early 80s. In March, 1982 she was stabbed several times outside her West Hollywood home by a mentally disturbed stalker. She barely survived. This was two years after the assassination of John Lennon and seven years before the murder of Rebecca Schaeffer. But she resumed her acting career and provided a face and a voice to the new issue of celebrity stalking.

June 10: Gordie Howe, 88: (left in pic) scored 801 goals in his NHL career and won 4 Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings. He was known at Mr. Hockey.

June 10: Christina Grimmie, 22: was murdered by a fan while signing autographs after a concert in Orlando. Grimmie finished third on Season 6 of The Voice on NBC. The suspect, Kevin James Loibl, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene. A friend of Loibl said his friend had developed a fixation on her within the last year.

June 11: Stacey Castor, 48: convicted murderer who poisoned her husband with antifreeze and attempted to kill her daughter in a similar way, is dead in prison, according to County DA William Fitzpatrick. Castor was serving a 50+ years-to-life in the state women’s prison, Bedford Hills, in Westchester County. She would have been eligible for in 2055.

June 12: Michu Meszaros, 77: The actor who played Alf in the popular ’80s sitcom died according his longtime friend and manager, Dennis Varga.

June 17: Ron Lester, 45: he portrayed Billy Bob in the 1999 football movie Varsity Blues and openly talked about his struggle with his illness on Twitter. Lester died of organ failure (liver and kidneys).

June 17: Attrell Cordes, 46: known as Prince Be of the music duo P.M. Dawn, died after suffering from diabetes and renal kidney disease, according to a statement from the group.

Terminator SalvationJune 19: Anton Yelchin, 27: he played Pavel Chekov in the reboot of the Star Trek movies and was one of most gifted and talented young actors of today. He was killed in a freak car accident outside his home, police said, by a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that was part of a voluntary safety recall for its roll-away risk after drivers were injured when they mistakenly thought they had shifted their car into park. In this instance, the Jeep rolled backward and pinned him against a brick mailbox pillar and security fence.

June 23: Ralph Stanley, 89: he was a bluegrass music pioneer and was already famous when the 2000 hit movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? thrust him into the mainstream. He provided a haunting a cappella version of the dirge “O Death” and ended up winning a Grammy.

June 24: James Lee, 36: football player and former 2004 Green Bay Packer, complications from diabetes.

June 24: Bernie Worrell, 72: Parliament-Funkadelic Keyboardist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee died following a battle with cancer.

June 25: Bill Cunningham, 87: he was a street-life photographer; a cultural anthropologist; a fixture at fashion shows; a celebrity in spite of keeping his camera focused on others and one of the most recognizable figures at The New York Times and in all of New York.

June 25: Elliot Wolff, 61: songwriter and music producer, Wolff was missing more than 2 weeks when police in New Mexico found his body in the Santa Fe National Forest. He was positively identified by items found on his clothes. He was reported missing on June 7. He began his career working as a musical director for Peaches and Herb in the early 80s, and played keyboards for Chaka Khan before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a songwriter, which included writing and producing Paula Abdul’s 1988 No. 1 song “Straight Up.”

June 28: Scotty Moore, 84: legendary guitarist credited with launching Elvis Presley’s career and a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was ranked #29 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

June 28: Fabiane Niclotti, 31: Brazilian model, Miss Universe Brasil, 2004, was found dead inside her apartment in the southern city of Gramado.

June 28: Pat Summitt, 64: she built the University of Tennessee’s Lady Volunteers into a power on the way to becoming the winningest coach in the history of major college basketball. She died five years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

June 28: Zurlon Tipton, 26: a former Indianapolis Colts running back died from a shooting at a Michigan car dealership after a gun in his car was accidentally discharged.

July 2: Jack Taylor, 94; started a leasing company with seven cars and built it into Enterprise Rent-A, died in St. Louis after a brief illness.

July 2: Elie Wiesel, 87: Romanian-born Holocaust survivor whose classic “Night” became a landmark testament to the Nazis’ crimes and launched his career as one of the world’s foremost witnesses and humanitarian.

July 2: Michael Cimino, 77: Oscar-winning director whose film The Deer Hunter became one of the great triumphs of Hollywood’s 1970s heyday and whose disastrous Heaven’s Gate helped bring that era to a close.

arturroJuly 3: Arturo, 31: American-born Argentine polar bear was said to suffer from depression after his partner, Pelusa, died of cancer in 2012. He came to the world’s attention two years ago when thousands of people signed a petition asking for him to be transferred to a colder climate in Canada. A blood circulation imbalance caused a general decline in his health.

July 3: Noel Neill, 95: played Lois Lane in the 1950’s TV version of Superman.

July 8: Goldie Michelson, 113: Russian-born American supercentenarian, nation’s oldest living person died just short of celebrating her 114 birthday (August). Born in Russia, she moved to the US as a child and attended Brown University for her undergraduate degree and earned a master’s degree at Clark University. She lived an active life, walking 4-5 miles every morning, which she called her “secret to longevity.” She didn’t smoke or drink, but she did have a weakness for chocolate.

July 9: Gladys Hooper, 113: English supercentenarian, nation’s oldest living person, passed away at the nursing home where she was a resident, at lunchtime. She was a former concert pianist, the same year the Wright brothers made the first powered aircraft flight (1903).

July 9: Sydney H. Schanberg, 82: Former New York Times correspondent awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the genocide in Cambodia in 1975 and whose story of the survival of his assistant inspired the film The Killing Fields.

July 14: Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31: Tunisian jihadist, perpetrator of the 2016 Nice attack was a Tunisian delivery man, not a known jihadist. Apparently he had been radicalized very quickly. The so-called Islamic State (IS) says he acted in response to its calls to target its calls to target civilians in countries that are part of the coalition ranged against the group. He surveyed the area in the truck two days before the July 14 Bastille Day attack, then smashed into the crowd killing 86 people on Nice’s beachfront, the Promenade des Anglais.

July 16: Bonnie Brown, 77: A 2015 Country Music Hall of Famer died of complications from lung cancer.

July 18: Jeffrey Montgomery, 63: American LGBT rights activist and longtime Executive Director for Triangle Foundation died in Detroit, Mich.

Warner Bros. Pictures World Premiere Of 'Valentine's Day'  Hollywood Los Angeles, America.July 19: Garry Marshall, 81: director, producer, writer and actor; the man who created some the 70s most iconic sitcoms including Happy Days, The Odd Couple, Laverne and Shirley died in Burbank, Calif. of complications from pneumonia following a stroke. He went from being a TV writer to creating sitcoms that touched the funny bones of the 70s generation and directing films that were watched again and again. He is survived by his wife Barbara, whom he married in 1963; his son Scott, a film director; and daughters Lori, an actress and casting director, and Kathleen, and actress; six grandchildren; and his sisters Penny Marshall, an actress and film director and Ronny Hallin, a TV producer.

July 24: Marni Nixon, 86: Hollywood voice double whose singing was heard in place of the leading actresses’ in such movie musicals as West Side Story, The King and I and My Fair Lady.

July 26: Forrest Mars, Jr., 84: a Mars, Inc. co-owner who oversaw the global expansion for M&Ms and Milky Way candies and helped his two siblings run the closely held company for 30 years died in Seattle. The cause was a heart attack. He was the grandson of Forrest E. Mars, who made the first Mars products in 1911, helped his younger brother and sister run the company and drive it into new markets such as Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic in 1991 and opened its first manufacturing plant in China two years later, according to the company’s website.

July 26: Miss Cleo (Youree Dell Harris), 53: Iconic TV Psychic, who rose to fame in the late 1990s through psychic hotline commercials in which she claimed to know the futures of her callers, died of cancer in Palm Beach, Florida.

July 29: Antonio Armstrong, 42: former Texas A&M star and NFL player died after being shot by his 16-year old son at their home in the Houston-area city of Bellaire. He was found injured in the bedroom and taken to the Memorial Hermann Hospital where he later died. Armstrong’s wife, Dawn, was also involved in the shooting and died at the home. No motive has yet been found.

gloria-dehavenJuly 30: Gloria DeHaven, 91: singer and actress, a studio player at MGM, appeared in a number of top films with leading stars: Thousands Cheer (Gene Kelly); Two Girls & a Sailor (June Allyson & Van Johnson); Step Lively (Frank Sinatra); Summer Holiday (Mickey Rooney) and many more. She was a stalwart of show business for more than six decades. She suffered a stroke about 3 months ago, her daughter, Faith Fincher-Finkelstein told The Hollywood Reporter. She died while in hospice care in Las Vegas, Nevada.

August 3: Ricci James Martin, 62: the youngest son of music legend Dean Martin and a musician and entertainer in his own right died in his home in Utah, his family made the news public, listing no cause of death. Ricci had been performing in a touring tribute to his father.

August 3: Shakira Martin, 30: American-born Jamaican model and Miss Jamaica Universe, died in a Florida hospital from complications from sickle cell disease.

August 5: Joellyn Duesberry, 72: American landscape artist, pancreatic cancer.

joani-blankAugust 6: Joani Blank, 79: American entrepreneur (Good Vibrations), Butterfly vibrator inventor, author and feminist sex educator. Joani Blank made the world safe for pleasure-seeking women. She founded San Francisco’s hometown non-sleezy sex-toy store and designed vibrators for women.

August 7: Ruby Winters Jenkins, 74: American soul singer (Make Love to Me, I Will).

August 8: Doris Bohrer, 93: American intelligence operative, was a spy during WW II and the Cold War. She was barely 20 and just 2 years out of Silver Spring’s Montgomery Blair High School when she became an employee of the Office of Strategic Services (the WWII predecessor of the CIA). She started her career as a typist, but by the end of the war she had spied on the Nazis from vantage points in Italy and North Africa and played a role in plotting the Allied Invasions of Sicily and the rest of Italy. When WWII ended and the OSS became the CIA, she went on to Germany for Cold War espionage on the Soviet Union and interviewed German scientists who had been captured, held and interrogated by the Russians. In 1979, she retired as deputy chief of counterintelligence and trained U.S. officers on the methods and tactics of foreign espionage operatives. Her son, Jason P. Bohrer said, “she spied on the spies.”

August 9: Jimmy Levine, 61/62: R&B musician, record producer, who played with Marvin Gaye’s road band and worked as a writer for the Jacksons, Rick James, Teena Marie and eventually formed his own production company (Out Post). Levine had been battling cancer for some time.

August 11: Thomas Steinbeck, 72: novelist and eldest son of John Steinbeck, and later in life, a fiction writer who fought bitterly in a family dispute over his father’s estate died at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to his wife, Gail Knight Steinbeck.

August 11: Glenn Yarbrough, 86: American folk singer and founding member of vocal group The Limeliters and a prolific solo artist died at his home in Nashville, Tenn. after years of declining health.

marion-christopher-barryAugust 14: Marion Christopher Barry, 36: the former DC Mayor’s only son and construction company owner died from what may have been from a drug overdose.

August 14: James Woolley, 49: former Nine Inch Nails Keyboardist, 1993 Grammy winner (Wish). Woolley’s ex-wife Kate Van Buren posted his death to Facebook, the cause of death was not shared.

August 16: John McLaughlin, 89: Conservative commentator and host of a long-running television show that pioneered hollering-heads discussions of Washington politics.

machali-4August 18: Mathali, 20: Queen of Ranthambore and perhaps the most photographed tigress on earth. On June 27, 2003 she challenged and killed a crocodile in her territory. The fierce battle between the two lasted for hours.  It cost her two of her canines. It took place in from of dozens of wildlife enthusiasts. Some of them captured it in their cameras, propelling Machhli to worldwide fame. As she aged, even when she would make a kill, she often lost it to a healthier and younger tiger, and a cataract in her left eye developed, robbing her of her site.

August 19: Lou Perlman, 62: disgraced Backstreet Boys and ’NSYNC svengali who was serving out a 25-year prison term after being convicted of running a half-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme in 2008 died at a federal prison in Miami, Florida.

August 20: Steven Hill, 94: he was best known for playing District Attorney Schiff on Law & Order for many years, but played other versatile characters in theater, films and television. He died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, according to his wife, Rachel, the cause unknown at the time. He wife said he did suffer from several ailments.

August 29: Gene Wilder, 83: actor, screenwriter, author, Wilder died at his home in Stamford, Conn. from complications from Alzheimer’s Disease, which he suffered with for the past three years.