2013 Obits – May

Jean Stapleton

Jean Stapleton

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

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

Sparkly Devil (Sarah Klein)

Sparkly Devil (Sarah Klein)

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

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

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

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

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

Richard "Dick" Trickle

Richard “Dick” Trickle

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

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

Malcolm Shabazz

Malcolm Shabazz

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

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

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

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

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

Even More 2012 Deaths – 12/25 – 12/31 (Updated)

Retired General Norman Schwarzkopf, died Thursday, Dec. 27 at the age of 78. Gen. Schwarzkopf commanded coalition forces during the Gulf War and on Jan. 17, 1991 began an almost 6-week air assault of Iraqi forces that was followed by a swift ground campaign that forced Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait.

Gerry Anderson, the British puppetry pioneer passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 26 at the age of 83 after suffering from Alzheimer’s for nearly 3 years.  Gerry created the classic television series Thunderbirds and Stingray, among others.

Charles Durning, a two-time Oscar nominee and an extraordinary character actor who played everything from a Nazi colonel to a pope, died Monday, Dec. 24 at his home in New York City. He was 89.

Jack Klugman

Jack Klugman

Jack Klugman, who played Quincy in Quincy, ME and the messy one in TVs Odd Couple died at the age of 90 on Monday, Dec. 24 in Northridge, CA. His wife, Peggy Crosby (2008) was at his side. The cause of his death at this time is unknown.

Rick Majerus was only 64 when he died on Saturday, Dec. 1. He coached at Marquette University, Ball State University, the University of Utah, and Saint Louis University.

Leroy Neiman died at 91 in New York on June 20. He was a painter and sketch artist and was best known for his impressionistic works of some of the world’s biggest sporting events.

Ryan Freel, a former Cincinnati Reds player died on Saturday, Dec. 22 from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. He was 36.

Sunday’s Copper was La Tempête in a Bottle

Tom Weston-Jones stars as Detective Kevin Corcoran on BBC America’s “Copper” Sundays, 10pm ET

Driving home in the rain last night, my mood lightened some when I realized I had a new episode of Copper waiting for me on my HD DVR. It was episode 5, which means we’re at the midpoint. I can tell from the comments on the website (bbcamerica.com/copper) that people are hoping it gets picked up for a second season (I’m definitely in that group).

I’m amazed by some of the comments of viewers that they can’t hear it or that it’s filmed too dark. I can think of only a handful of reasons why those television viewers are having problems. 1) they are watching it on an old television set; 2) they are watching it on a new television set without additional speakers; 3) they have the right set-up and always have surround sound on and do not know how to turn it off and/or adjust it.

For those who leave comments that it’s filmed too dark – come on people – read your television manual. Learn how to operate one of the most expensive pieces of equipment that you own (next to your car). There are different (automatic) settings you can experiment with.

Try it – please – but don’t comment about it on the website of a television show likes it’s their friggin’ fault! Now, on to important matters.

I love, love, love shows that make you feel like you’re not being … denied (for lack of a better word). FX’s Justified made me feel like that. Watching Copper, when the first commercial came, about 14 minutes into the TV Hour, I was overjoyed knowing I had at least 45 more minutes (including commercials).

In my first post about Copper I made an error when I said it was WRITTEN by Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. Those two gentlemen are executive producers. I apologize. While I was tuttuling around the site this morning I found this little nugget of information: Copper’s series premiere delivered BBC America’s highest-rated telecast ever in Live +7 Day on Sunday, August 19. From what I understand about television numbers lingo, that’s nothing to be ashamed about.

If you still need a little shove, here it is: