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« Reply #270 on: July 14, 2011, 03:57:38 PM »

'Home Alone' Actor Roberts Blossom Dies at 87



SANTA MONICA, Calif. –  Character actor Roberts Blossom, who played the white-bearded neighbor "old man Marley" in the movie "Home Alone," has died at age 87 in Southern California.

Daughter Deborah Blossom tells the Los Angeles Times that her father died of natural causes July 8 at a Santa Monica nursing home.

Blossom starred on Broadway, as well as in television and movies. He won three Obie Awards for his off-Broadway work.

Movie credits include "The Hospital," "Slaughterhouse-Five," "The Great Gatsby," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Escape From Alcatraz," "Resurrection" and "Doc Hollywood."

Blossom had a starring role in the 1974 cult horror movie "Deranged."

But he may be best-remembered as the neighbor in 1990's "Home Alone"

Blossom's TV credits include "Another World," "Moonlighting," "Northern Exposure" and "In the Heat of the Night."

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/07/14/home-alone-actor-roberts-blossom-dies-at-87/
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« Reply #271 on: July 20, 2011, 03:14:12 PM »

Former 'James Bond' Bombshell Dies After Drinking Drain Cleaner



LONDON –  Angela Scoular, a former Bond girl, died after drinking drain cleaner and pouring it over her body, an inquest in London heard Wednesday.

Scoular, 65, ingested One Shot Instant Drain Cleaner after a long battle with alcoholism, bipolar disorder, bowel cancer and anxiety over debts incurred from manic shopping trips.

The actress, who played Buttercup in the 1966 spoof "Casino Royale" and Ruby Bartlett in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" in 1969, suffered 40 percent burns to her body, throat and dietary tract from the chemical, which contained 91 percent sulfuric acid.

Scoular had not been drinking on the morning of her death and left no suicide note, Westminster Coroner's Court heard.

But in the months before she had been consuming half a bottle of brandy a day and was behaving erratically. She bought things she knew she could not afford, had several parking fines and was convicted of drunk driving. Her anxiety was heightened by the fear that her cancer, for which she had had chemotherapy and radiotherapy, would return.

On the morning of her death on April 11, her husband, the British comic actor Leslie Phillips, gave her a cup of tea and a banana in bed. Later she got up, fetched the cleaner bottle from under the sink and drank from it. She then ran outside their home and poured the rest of the bottle over her body.

Scoular then fell down some steps, fracturing her spine in several places, the inquest heard.

Phillips, 82, who starred in the popular "Carry On" films, heard a noise at the front door but ignored it until he heard a passer-by outside. As he looked out of the window, he saw his wife lying next to a white plastic bottle with blood on her face.

Scoular was pronounced dead in hospital just over two hours after she drank the cleaner.

Phillips was too unwell to attend the inquest but spoke in two witness statements of a 35-year marriage interrupted by his wife's bouts of alcoholism.

"She was a nervous type, not at all confident. But she was a kind, generous person who would help me with my work and I would help with hers," he said.

Dr. Fiona Wilcox, the coroner, said Scoular had died from the ingestion of a corrosive substance and multiple fractures. She recorded a verdict of "killing herself while the balance of her mind was disturbed."

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/07/20/former-bond-bombshell-dies-after-drinking-drain-cleaner/
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« Reply #272 on: July 20, 2011, 04:13:38 PM »

Drain cleaner? Ouch!
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« Reply #273 on: July 23, 2011, 12:52:13 PM »

Singer Amy Winehouse found dead



By Alan Duke

London (CNN) -- Singer Amy Winehouse, infamous for erratic public behavior, arrests and drug problems, was found dead at her apartment in London Saturday, the UK Press Association reported. She was 27.

Her death came less than two months after her latest release from a rehabilitation program and weeks following a disastrous performance where she was booed off a Belgrade stage by disappointed Serbian fans.

Winehouse died at the same age as four other music legends. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison each died of drug overdoses when they were 27. Kurt Cobain was 27 when he committed suicide, soon after his release from rehab.

Police called the death "unexplained" early in their investigation.

iReport: Your thoughts on Amy Winehouse

London police said they were called to a home, which matches Winehouse's address, Saturday afternoon in response to "a woman found deceased."

"On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene," a police statement said.

The "Rehab" singer had a history of battling drugs and alcohol and recently left a British rehab program that a representative said was intended to prepare her for scheduled European concerts.

But she cut short the European concert tour last month following a concert in Belgrade, Serbia, where she staggered around the stage and stumbled through several songs.

Audience members booed Winehouse off the stage that night just a few songs into the concert, the first of the tour.

Winehouse spokeswoman Tracey Miller told CNN at the time that the singer "agreed with management that she cannot perform to the best of her ability and will return home."

"Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen," representative Chris Goodman said in a statement in May.

A new, but almost identical, similar statement appeared on her website Saturday, saying "Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances." None of her representatives immediately responded to CNN requests for comment.

Winehouse's soulful, throaty vocals brought the British musician stardom in 2007, but her off-stage life gained her notoriety. The lyrics of her songs, especially the hit "Rehab," chronicled her troubled life.

The song, in which she sang "They tried to make me go to rehab, I said no, no, no," helped form the public's view of Winehouse.

"I don't care enough about what people think of me to conform to anything," she said in a CNN interview.

Winehouse, born in London in 1983, became a picture of a tattooed teenage rebel after she was expelled from a prestigious performing arts school.

Her first album, "Frank," debuted in 2003, when the singer-songwriter was 19.

International success came with her 2007 album "Back To Black," winner of best pop vocal album and album of the year Grammys in 2008. The single "Rehab" won Grammys for record of the year and song of the year.

Winehouse's volatile marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil took a toll on the singer's career. The couple divorced in 2009 after a stormy two years filled by drug addiction and arrests.

Winehouse's parents went public with their efforts to help their daughter, telling the London Telegraph in 2009 that she was on the road to recovery.

"A gradual recovery, which is good," Winehouse's father Mitch told the Telegraph. "With slight backward steps -- not drug backward steps, more drink backward steps if you follow my drift. I think that will be the pattern of recovery."

http://www.cnn.com/2011/SHOWBIZ/celebrity.news.gossip/07/23/amy.winehouse.dies/index.html
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« Reply #274 on: July 23, 2011, 12:56:49 PM »

Singer Amy Winehouse Found Dead

LONDON -- Amy Winehouse, the beehived soul-jazz diva whose self-destructive habits overshadowed a distinctive musical talent, was found dead Saturday in her London home, police said. She was 27.

Winehouse shot to fame with the album "Back to Black," whose blend of jazz, soul, rock and classic pop was a global hit. It won five Grammys and made Winehouse -- with her black beehive hairdo and old-fashioned sailor tattoos -- one of music's most recognizable stars.

Police confirmed that a 27-year-old female was pronounced dead at the home in Camden Square northern London; the cause of death was not immediately known. London Ambulance Services said Winehouse had died before the two ambulance crews it sent arrived at the scene.

An ambulance could be seen parked beneath the trees outside her London home, and the whole street was cordoned off by police tape. Officers kept onlookers away from the scene.

Last month, Winehouse canceled her European comeback tour after she swayed and slurred her way through barely recognizable songs in her first show in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Booed and jeered off stage, she flew home and her management said she would take time off to recover.

"I didn't go out looking to be famous," Winehouse told the Associated Press when "Back to Black" was released. "I'm just a musician."

But in the end, the music was overshadowed by fame, and by Winehouse's demons. Tabloids lapped up the erratic stage appearances, drunken fights, stints in hospital and rehab clinics. Performances became shambling, stumbling train wrecks, watched around the world on the Internet.

Born in 1983 to taxi driver Mitch Winehouse and his pharmacist wife Janis, Winehouse grew up in the north London suburbs, and was set on a showbiz career from an early age. When she was 10, she and a friend formed a rap group, Sweet 'n' Sour -- Winehouse was Sour -- that she later described as "the little white Jewish Salt 'n' Pepa."

She attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School, a factory for British music and acting moppets, later went to the Brit School, a performing arts academy in the "Fame" mold, and was originally signed to "Pop Idol" svengali Simon Fuller's 19 Management.

But Winehouse was never a packaged teen star, and always resisted being pigeonholed.

Her jazz-influenced 2003 debut album, "Frank," was critically praised and sold well in Britain. It earned Winehouse an Ivor Novello songwriting award, two Brit nominations and a spot on the shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize.

But Winehouse soon expressed dissatisfaction with the disc, saying she was "only 80 percent behind" the album.

"Frank" was followed by a slump during which Winehouse broke up with her boyfriend, suffered a long period of writer's block and, she later said, smoked a lot of marijuana.

"I had writer's block for so long," she said in 2007. "And as a writer, your self-worth is literally based on the last thing you wrote. .. I used to think, 'What happened to me?'

"At one point it had been two years since the last record and (the record company) actually said to me, 'Do you even want to make another record?' I was like, 'I swear it's coming.' I said to them, 'Once I start writing I will write and write and write. But I just have to start it."'

The album she eventually produced was a sensation.

Released in Britain in the fall of 2006, "Back to Black" brought Winehouse global fame. Working with producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi and soul-funk group the Dap-Kings, Winehouse fused soul, jazz, doo-wop and, above all, a love of the girl-groups of the early 1960s with lyrical tales of romantic obsession and emotional excess.

"Back to Black" was released in the United States in March 2007 and went on to win five Grammy awards, including song and record of the year for "Rehab."

Music critic John Aizlewood attributed her trans-Atlantic success to a fantastic voice and a genuinely original sound.

A lot of British bands fail in America because they give America something Americans do better -- that's why most British hip-hop has failed," he said. "But they won't have come across anything quite like Amy Winehouse."

Winehouse's rise was helped by her distinctive look -- black beehive of hair, thickly lined cat eyes, girly tattoos -- and her tart tongue.

She was famously blunt in her assessment of her peers, once describing Dido's sound as "background music -- the background to death" and saying of pop princess Kylie Minogue, "she's not an artist ... she's a pony."

The songs on "Black to Black" detailed breakups and breakdowns with a similar frankness. Lyrically, as in life, Winehouse wore her heart on her sleeve.

"I listen to a lot of '60s music, but society is different now," Winehouse said in 2007. "I'm a young woman and I'm going to write about what I know."

Even then, Winehouse's performances were sometimes shambolic, and she admitted she is "a terrible drunk."

Increasingly, her personal life began to overshadow her career.

She acknowledged struggling with eating disorders and told a newspaper that she had been diagnosed as manic depressive but refused to take medication. Soon accounts of her erratic behavior, canceled concerts and drink- and drug-fueled nights began to multiply.

Photographs caught her unsteady on her feet or vacant-eyed, and she appeared unhealthily thin, with scabs on her face and marks on her arms.

There were embarrassing videos released to the world on the Internet. One showed an addled Winehouse and Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty playing with newborn mice. Another, for which Winehouse apologized, showed her singing a racist ditty to the tune of a children's song.

Winehouse's managers went to increasingly desperate lengths to keep the wayward star on the straight and narrow.

Though she was often reported to be working on new material, fans got tired of waiting for the much-promised followup to "Back to Black."

Occasional bits of recording saw the light of day. Her rendition of The Zutons' "Valerie" was a highlight of producer Mark Ronson's 2007 album "Version," and she recorded the pop classic

"It's My Party" for the 2010 Quincy Jones album "Q: Soul Bossa Nostra."

But other recording projects with Ronson, one of the architects of the success of "Back to Black," came to nothing.

She also had run-ins with the law. In April 2008, Winehouse was cautioned by police for assault after she slapped a man during a raucous night out.

The same year she was investigated by police, although not charged, after a tabloid newspaper published a video that appeared to show her smoking crack cocaine.

In 2010, Winehouse pleaded guilty to assaulting a theater manager who asked her to leave a family Christmas show because she'd had too much to drink. She was given a fine and a warning to stay out of trouble by a judge who praised her for trying to clean up her act.

In May 2007 in Miami, she married music industry hanger-on Blake Fielder-Civil, but the honeymoon was brief. That November, Fielder-Civil was arrested for an attack on a pub manager the year before. Fielder-Civil later pleaded guilty to assaulting barman James King and then offering him $400,000 to keep quiet about it.

Winehouse stood by "my Blake" throughout his trial, often blowing kisses at him from the court's public gallery and wearing a heart-shaped pin labeled "Blake" in her hair at concerts. But British newspapers reported extramarital affairs while Fielder-Civil was behind bars.

They divorced in 2009.

Winehouse's health often appeared fragile. In June 2008 and again in April 2010, she was taken to hospital and treated for injuries after fainting and falling at home.

Her father said she had developed the lung disease emphysema from smoking cigarettes and crack, although her spokeswoman later said Winehouse only had "early signs of what could lead to emphysema."

She left the hospital to perform at Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday concert in Hyde Park in June 2008, and at the Glastonbury festival the next day, where she received a rousing reception but scuffled with a member of the crowd. Then it was back to a London clinic for treatment, continuing the cycle of music, excess and recuperation that marked her career.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/07/23/singer-amy-winehouse-found-dead/


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« Reply #275 on: July 23, 2011, 04:11:47 PM »

This was on my homepage when I logged in this afternoon.   Very sad.  Talent gone so terribly wrong. 
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« Reply #276 on: July 23, 2011, 06:41:06 PM »

Such talent and such a shame.

Hey out there Bleached Black do you ever stop in for a read?
If so we still miss you.
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« Reply #277 on: July 23, 2011, 08:19:54 PM »

Yeah, bet back when BB started this thread she didn't think her favorite singer would wind up listed here.

BB was a big fan of Amy Winehouse.
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« Reply #278 on: July 26, 2011, 03:01:37 PM »

'Godfather: Part II' Actor G.D. Spradlin Dies at 90



Gervase Duan "G.D." Spradlin, a former lawyer and oil producer who found a second act as a prolific character actor playing authority figures in such films as "Apocalypse Now" and "The Godfather: Part II," has died. He was 90.

Spradlin died of natural causes Sunday at his San Luis Obispo ranch in Central California, his grandson Justin Demko told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

Born on Aug. 31, 1920, in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, Spradlin turned to acting in his 40s after serving in the Army Air Forces in China during World War II, working as an attorney for Phillips Petroleum Co. and striking it rich as an independent oil producer. He also dabbled in politics as director of John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign in Oklahoma and had an unsuccessful run for mayor of Oklahoma City in 1965.

Spradlin got his start in acting after taking his daughter Wendy to audition for a local production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and wound up landing a part in the play himself.

"Being rich changes surprisingly little," Spradlin told the Times in 1967. "You'll still have to have an absorbing interest in life, something to do to make you feel alive."

When he moved his family to Los Angeles, he found steady work playing politicians, preachers, doctors, judges and military officers.

In a career spanning more than three decades, his most notable parts included the corrupt senator in "The Godfather: Part II," and the Army general who sent Martin Sheen up river to find and kill Marlon Brando's Col. Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now."

His other film credits include "The War of the Roses" and "Ed Wood." He retired after playing Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee in the 1999 comedy "Dick."

Spradlin's first wife, Nell, with whom he had daughters Tamara Kelly and Wendy Spradlin, died in 2000. He's survived by his second wife, Frances Hendrickson, his two daughters and five grandchildren.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/07/26/godfather-part-ii-actor-gd-spradlin-dies-at-0/
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« Reply #279 on: August 04, 2011, 02:53:07 PM »

NFL and Film Star Bubba Smith Dies at 66



Former NFL defensive star Bubba Smith, who found a successful second career as an actor, has died in Los Angeles at age 66.

Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter says Smith was found dead Wednesday at his Baldwin Hills home. Winter says he didn't know the circumstances or cause of death.

Police spokesman Richard French says the death does not appear to be suspicious.

http://nation.foxnews.com/bubba-smith/2011/08/04/nfl-and-film-star-bubba-smith-dies-66
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« Reply #280 on: August 04, 2011, 02:55:50 PM »

Football great and 'Police Academy' star Bubba Smith dies

(CNN) -- Former college and pro football star Charles Aaron "Bubba" Smith, who went on to an acting career after his retirement from sports, was found dead at his home, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said Wednesday. He was 66.

Police and fire officials were called to Smith's home after "he was found unresponsive" and pronounced him dead, said Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations and investigation for the coroner.

An autopsy will be performed to determine cause of death, Winter said. However, asked if there was any reason to believe the death was due to anything other than natural causes, he replied, "Not at this time."

An imposing 6 foot 8 and 260 pounds, Smith was considered one of the most fearsome pass rushers of his day. The No. 1 overall pick in the 1967 National Football League draft, he played nine seasons in the NFL -- for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers.

Sports Illustrated gallery: The NFL goes Hollywood

He played for the Colts in two Super Bowls and was also a two-time Pro Bowl pick.

Smith was one of the anchors of an overwhelming defense that was heavily favored to win Super Bowl III. Nonetheless, the New York Jets, led by Joe Namath, defeated the Colts in the 1969 championship of pro football, widely considered one of the biggest upsets in U.S. sports history.

The Colts atoned for that embarrassment -- somewhat -- two years later in a 16-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V, but Smith reportedly said he was so dismayed by the game's sloppiness that he never wore his Super Bowl ring.

Smith was sidelined by a severe knee injury during an exhibition game in 1972, and the next season joined the Raiders. He told Sports Illustrated in 1973 that "not playing was terrible. I didn't want to show my face in public. I don't know if it was that we were losing or what, but it almost drove me crazy."

After retiring from pro football in 1975, Smith landed small roles on TV series such as "Good Times," "Charlie's Angels" and "Semi-Tough," according to IMDb, before landing his signature role as Lt. Moses Hightower in the first "Police Academy" movie in 1984. He reprised the role in all six movies in the popular comedy franchise.

Smith was a two-time All-America defensive end at Michigan State University. He played in what the national media dubbed "the game of the century" between Michigan State and Notre Dame in 1966, a 10-10 tie that resulted in the two teams' splitting the vote for that year's national championship.

Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988, an event he called "the jewel in my crown, for my collegiate days were very special to me."

Smith was born on February 28, 1945, in Beaumont Texas. His father was a high school football coach and his mother had earned two college degrees. According to his member biography on the College Football Hall of Fame website, he said he took his parents with him when he went to speak to youth groups "to demonstrate my respect for them."

http://www.cnn.com/2011/SPORT/08/03/bubba.smith.obit/index.html
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« Reply #281 on: August 04, 2011, 02:57:45 PM »

Actress Who Played 'Cha-Cha' in 'Grease' Dies at 63



LOS ANGELES –  "Grease" actress Annette Charles, who played Cha Cha in the iconic film, has died in Los Angeles, TMZ reported Thursday.

Charles passed away Wednesday night at age 63 from complications from cancer.

She had acted in several minor TV roles before she played Charlene "Cha-Cha" DiGregorio, the girlfriend of the leader of the Scorpions gang, in the 1978 movie.

She also starred in "Latino," a 1985 movie about the political unrest in Nicaragua.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/08/04/actress-who-played-cha-cha-in-grease-dies-at-63/
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« Reply #282 on: August 09, 2011, 09:06:22 AM »

Such talent and such a shame.

Hey out there Bleached Black do you ever stop in for a read?
If so we still miss you.

I never really cared for her music, but for some reason her song "F _ _ _ Me Pumps" I really enjoyed.  It reminded me of my single days; only then we always wore our "F _ _ _ Me Jean".
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« Reply #283 on: August 12, 2011, 05:06:03 PM »

The White Mouse of WW11 fame has dies.She was an Aussie who did a great job of killing and spying on the Germans.I think her name was Gray.
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« Reply #284 on: August 12, 2011, 09:52:25 PM »

Give me a D in history, but I don't know of this woman, the White Mouse.  

Here we go: 


One of the most highly decorated Allied secret agents of World War II, Nancy Wake, has died in London aged 98.

Born in New Zealand but raised in Australia, she is credited with helping hundreds of Allied personnel escape from occupied France.

The German Gestapo named her the "White Mouse" because she was so elusive.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Mrs Wake was "a truly remarkable individual whose selfless valour and tenacity will never be forgotten".

"Nancy Wake was a woman of exceptional courage and resourcefulness whose daring exploits saved the lives of hundreds of Allied personnel and helped bring the Nazi occupation of France to an end," Ms Gillard said in a statement.

Saboteur and spy
 
After studying journalism in London, Nancy Wake became a correspondent for The Chicago Tribune in Paris and reported on the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany.

After visiting Vienna in 1933, she vowed to fight against the persecution of Jews.

 After the fall of France in 1940, Mrs Wake became a French Resistance courier and later a saboteur and spy - setting up escape routes and sabotaging German installations, saving hundreds of Allied lives.

She worked for British Special Operations and was parachuted into France in April 1944 before D-Day to deliver weapons to French Resistance fighters.

At one point, she was top of the Gestapo's most wanted list.

"Freedom is the only thing worth living for. While I was doing that work, I used to think it didn't matter if I died, because without freedom there was no point in living," Wake once said of her wartime exploits.

It was only after the liberation of France that she learned her husband, French businessman Henri Fiocca, had been tortured and killed by the Gestapo for refusing to give her up.

"I have only one thing to say: I killed a lot of Germans, and I am only sorry I didn't kill more," she once said.

She was Australia's most decorated servicewoman, and one of the most decorated Allied servicewomen of World War II.

France awarded her its highest honour, the Legion D'Honneur; she also received Britain's George Medal, and the US Medal of Freedom. In 2004, she was made Companion of the Order of Australia.

She returned to Australia in 1949, where she failed several times to win a seat in parliament.

In 1957 she went back to England, where she married RAF fighter pilot John Forward.

Wake died in London. She had been a resident at a nursing home for retired forces personnel since 2003.

She is expected to be cremated and her ashes spread in Montlucon in central France, the scene of much of her heroism.

Her story inspired Sebastian Faulks' 1999 novel Charlotte Gray and a 2001 film by the same title, with the lead role played by Australian actress Cate Blanchett.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14441032
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