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« Reply #465 on: September 02, 2015, 06:50:31 PM »

Dean Jones, boyish Disney star, dies at 84



Dean Jones, whose boyish good looks and all-American manner made him Disney's favorite young actor for such lighthearted films as "That Darn Cat!" and "The Love Bug," has died of Parkinson's disease. He was 84.

He died Monday in Los Angeles, Jones' publicist Richard Hoffman said Wednesday.

Jones' long association with The Walt Disney Co. began after he received an unexpected call from Walt Disney himself, who praised his work on the TV show "Ensign O'Toole," noting it had "some good closing sequences." Jones, himself a former Navy man, played the title role in the 1962 sitcom.

Jones puzzled over Disney's remark until it occurred to him that "Ensign O'Toole" preceded Disney's own Sunday night show on NBC, and he realized Disney probably only watched each episode's ending.

Two years later, Jones heard from Disney again, calling this time to offer him a role in "That Darn Cat!" opposite ingénue Hayley Mills. His FBI agent Zeke Kelso follows a crime-solving cat that leads him to a pair of bank robbers.

Released in 1965, it would the first of 10 Disney films Jones would make, most of them in the supernatural vein.

"I see something in them that is pure form. Just entertainment. No preaching," he told the Los Angeles Times. "We're always looking for social significance but maybe people just like to be entertained."

"The Love Bug" (1969) was the most successful of the genre, with Jones playing a struggling race-driver who acquires a Volkswagen that wins races for him. The Bug, named Herbie, has hidden human traits, and when it feels unappreciated it disappears. Jones must rescue Herbie from the hands of his nefarious rival and issue the car an apology before it wins the big race for him.

After "The Love Bug," Jones returned to the stage, winning the lead role of Robert in "Company," Stephen Sondheim's now-classic musical about marital angst, Manhattan-style. He withdrew from the 1970 production after a short time, citing family problems, but he is heard on the Grammy-winning Broadway cast album.

He had actually started his career as a singer before going on to appear in a string of mostly forgettable films throughout the 1950s. A notable exception was 1957's "Jailhouse Rock," one of Elvis Presley's best-remembered vehicles, in which Jones had a small role as a disc jockey.

In 1960, Jones made his Broadway debut with Jane Fonda in "There Was a Little Girl," playing Fonda's boyfriend in a short-lived drama about the rape of a young woman.

He had better luck on Broadway later in 1960, when he appeared in the hit comedy "Under the Yum Yum Tree." Sparring with Gig Young, who played a comically wolfish character, Jones had "the right blend of sturdiness and lightness," The New York Times wrote.

He returned to Hollywood to make the film version of "Under the Yum Yum Tree" and to star in television's "Ensign O'Toole" from 1962 to 1964. He also reteamed with Fonda for the film version of a racy stage comedy, "Any Wednesday."

It was in Disney's gentle family comedies, however, that Jones truly hit his stride. Walt Disney himself died in 1966, but the studio and its style of film lived on.

In "Monkeys, Go Home," Jones tried to teach four monkeys to pick grapes at a French vineyard he inherited. In "Million Dollar Duck," he was a scientist with a duck that began laying golden eggs after being doused with radiation.

He returned to the Disney studio in 1977 for one more film, "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo."

Twenty years later, he had smaller parts in the remake of "That Darn Cat" and the TV version of "The Love Bug."

He worked regularly into his 70s, appearing often on TV and in films. His later credits included "St. John in Exile," ''Beethoven" and "Other People's Money."

In 1969, he was host of a TV variety show, "What's It All About, World?" But he said delivering jokes, stand-up comedy style, was not really his forte. "My bag is acting or getting into an amusing situation and then sharing my amusement," he told the Times. "I can sense a situation or a character much better than I can sense a line."

Dean Carroll Jones left his hometown of Decatur, Alabama, at 15, supporting himself by picking cotton and cutting timber until he landed a job as a singer in a New Orleans nightclub. When the club closed, he returned to Decatur to finish high school.

After studying voice at Asbury University in Kentucky, he spent four years in the Navy. Soon after his release, he was signed by MGM, and it appeared for a time that he was being groomed as a possible successor to James Dean.

Jones married Mae Entwisle, a onetime Miss San Diego, in 1954, and the couple had two daughters, Carol and Deanna. He and his second wife, Lory, had a son, Michael.

Over the course of his career, he'd appear in 46 films and five Broadway shows. In 1995, Jones was honored by his longtime employers with a spot in the Disney Legends Hall of Fame.

Besides Lory, his wife of 42 years, and his children, Jones is survived by eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/09/02/dean-jones-boyish-disney-star-dies-at-84/
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« Reply #466 on: September 07, 2015, 08:26:51 PM »

Martin Milner, Star of ‘Adam-12,’ ‘Route 66,’ Dies at 83



Martin Milner, who starred on TV on “Adam-12” with Kent McCord and, earlier, on “Route 66” with George Maharis, died Sunday night, Diana Downing, a representative for his fan page, confirmed. He was 83.

Milner was also known for his roles as a jazz guitarist in the brilliant 1957 film “Sweet Smell of Success” and in the 1967 camp classic “Valley of the Dolls.”

Milner began acting in movies while a teen, after his father got him an agent, first appearing in the 1947 classic “Life With Father.” The film starred William Powell and Irene Dunne, and thus Milner, along with his co-star Elizabeth Taylor, bridged the generations in Hollywood between the golden age and contemporary era.

He appeared as Officer Pete Molloy alongside Kent McCord’s Officer Jim Reed in NBC’s “Adam-12” from 1968-75. Molloy was the seasoned, savvy veteran bringing along Reed who was, at first, a rookie.

The innovative series had a more realistic quality than previous cop shows: The partners, on which the show narrowly focused, would patrol with no idea what they would encounter through the course of the day, and viewers got to witness the highs and lows in their lives.

Milner had a long association with Jack Webb, whose Mark VII Ltd. produced “Adam-12” and had produced “Dragnet” since 1951. After Webb and Milner met on the set of the movie “Halls of Montezuma” in 1950, Webb cast Milner in various roles on “Dragnet” in the early ’50s, first on radio and then when the crime drama transitioned to TV, where Milner appeared in six episodes of “Dragnet” from 1952-55.

Milner even appeared as a drummer in the Webb-directed 1955 feature “Pete Kelly’s Blues.” (The actor did not know how to play the guitar, so he was not really playing in “Sweet Smell of Success.”)

Webb later chose Milner to star in “Adam-12” and directed the pilot episode; as a producer, Webb liked to do crossover episodes between his various series for promotional purposes; Officers Molloy and Reed were introduced on episodes of “Dragnet” and also appeared on episodes of the brief Mark VII show “The D.A.,” starring Robert Conrad, as well as on “Emergency.”

“Route 66” ran on CBS from 1960-64, about a decade before “Adam-12” and resolutely not produced by Webb: Written and lensed across North America and inspired by the spirit of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” the series followed Milner’s Tod Stiles and George Maharis’ Buz Murdock as they traveled from town to town in a Corvette, exploring social issues and the changing cultural landscape.

As “Adam-12” ended in 1975, Milner transitioned smoothly to the Irwin Allen-produced series “Swiss Family Robinson,” in which he played the paterfamilias. When that series proved short lived, Milner went on to appear in a variety of TV movies; there was also a guest spot on “Police Story.”

In the 1989 TV movie “Nashville Beat,” Kent McCord (who had a story credit) and Milner reunited onscreen, with McCord as a cop from L.A. who visits Milner, a onetime LAPD officer who moved to Nashville and rose to captain. Together they fight a man behind increasing gang activity.

Also in the ’80s Milner guested on “Fantasy Island,” “Airwolf” and “MacGyver” (playing MacGyver’s father), among other shows. On “Murder, She Wrote” he appeared in five different roles between 1985 and 1996.

After his last visit with Jessica Fletcher, the actor appeared on “Diagnosis Murder” in 1997 and thereupon retired from the screen.

Back at the beginning of his career, the young, clean-cut Milner appeared in a number of war movies, including two with John Wayne, “Sands of Iwo Jima” and “Operation Pacific,” and one with Richard Widmark, “Halls of Montezuma.” (The actor did a sizable number of war movies, of varying quality, over the course of his film career.) But Milner also did a teen-centered comedy and a teencentric social-issues drama.

He got his start in television early in his career and early in the history of the medium, guesting on “The Lone Ranger” in 1950 and recurring on eight episodes of “The Stu Erwin Show” in 1950-51.

Milner moved between film and TV throughout the 1950s.

In 1951’s “I Want You,” starring Dana Andrews, Dorothy McGuire and Farley Granger, Milner’s character has been drafted for service in the Korean War, and his father pleads with Milner’s employer to declare the kid “indispensable,” which would mean he could continue working and avoid the fight. Milner’s employer, played by Andrews, refuses, and Milner’s character is later killed in action. Milner had not yet made it: Though his role (if not, perhaps, his performance) is central to the film, the New York Times did not mention him by name in its review.

The actor appeared in the film noir “The Captive City”; the comic fantasy “My Wife’s Best Friend,” starring Anne Baxter; and the Western “Springfield Rifle,” with Gary Cooper, to give a sense of the miscellany of assignments Milner was drawing in the early ’50s.

In 1955 he appeared in a small role in”Mister Roberts,” starring Henry Fonda, James Cagney and William Powell.

By 1956 the tide had turned for Milner: He was now doing more television than film, perhaps frustrated that he was still relegated to little more than bit parts in A pictures and had to rely on B pictures for somewhat more substantive supporting roles. Still, he had a couple of his most memorable film roles ahead of him.

In 1957 he appeared in two pictures starring Burt Lancaster. The first was “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” in which Milner played James, the youngest of the four Earp brothers (at least in the movie). The second was “Sweet Smell of Success,” a very different film in which Lancaster played a caustic New York columnist who’s inappropriately possessive of his sister, who becomes romantically involved with Milner’s jazz guitarist; Lancaster’s character stops at nothing to destroy this relationship. Milner finally turned in an impressive performance in an A picture, and even got his mention in the New York Times: “Marty Milner is sincere and believable as her indomitable romantic vis-a-vis.”

He subsequently had decent supporting roles in A pictures “Marjorie Morningstar,” starring Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly, and “Compulson,” starring Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman. Reviewing the latter, the Times said, “Mention should be made, too, of Martin Milner’s restrained depiction of her fiancé.”

Despite the success these newest film roles represented Milner was spending more and more of his time guesting on various TV series, and he seemed to decide that exploitation films would afford him more exposure. In 1960 he made two very silly, very bad movies with Mamie Van Doren and the horror film “13 Ghosts,” produced by William Castle. He was prominently featured in all of these.

But then “Route 66” changed the course of his career.

Martin Sam Milner was born in Detroit. Both his parents were in showbiz: His father was a film distributor, his mother a dancer.

Milner was a man of various interests. He tried Broadway in 1967 in brief-running “The Ninety Day Mistress.”

After he stopped acting, he co-hosted a radio show in Southern California, “Let’s Talk HookUp,” about freshwater and saltwater fishing, for a number of years. In the early 1970s he bought a 24-acre avocado farm where he lived with his family.

Survivors include Milner’s wife, Judith Bess “Judy” Jones, a former singer and actress to whom he had been married since 1957; daughter Molly; and sons Stuart and Andrew. Daughter Amy, who appeared in an episode of “Adam-12,” died of acute myeloid leukemia in 2004.

http://variety.com/2015/film/news/martin-milner-dead-adam-12-route-66-1201587461/
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« Reply #467 on: September 07, 2015, 08:30:42 PM »

Judy Carne, ‘Laugh-In’s’ ‘Sock it to Me’ Girl, Dies at 76



Actress Judy Carne, best known for being the “Sock it to me!” girl on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” in the ’60s, died on Sept. 3, according to the Telegraph. She was 76.

Carne rose to overnight fame with her appearances on “Laugh-In,” where the bouncy actress’ zany persona would be doused with water every time she uttered the phrase “Sock it to me,” accidentally or not. She acted on the sketch comedy show for two years, making the occasional appearance in the third season.

Carne was also known for her tumultuous relationship with Burt Reynolds. She was the actor’s first wife, marrying him in 1963 before they divorced in 1965. She detailed their relationship, confessing to partaking in several affairs and struggling with drug addiction, in her 1985 autobiography “Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside: The Bittersweet Saga of the Sock-It-To-Me Girl.”

She battled heavily with drug addiction after leaving “Laugh-In,” being charged with heroin possession and prescription forgery in the late ’70s. She was acquitted of the heroin charge.

The actress was born near Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, and trained at the Bush Davies Theatrical School for Girls at East Grinstead as a child. Her first television appearance came in 1956, in “The First Day of Spring.”

Carne went on to serve as a panelist on “Juke Box Jury” and also appeared on sitcom “The Rag Trade,” as well as the 1962 comedy film “A Pair of Briefs.”

Her other TV credits include a regular role in sitcom “Fair Exchange,” “The Baileys of Balboa,” a starring role in sitcom “Love on a Rooftop” and appearances in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/judy-carne-%E2%80%98laugh-in%E2%80%99s%E2%80%99-%E2%80%98sock-it-to-me%E2%80%99-girl-dies-at-76/ar-AAe34Nt?ocid=ansmsnent11
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« Reply #468 on: September 20, 2015, 06:59:32 AM »

Best-selling novelist Jackie Collins dies of breast cancer at 77



The novels of Jackie Collins dramatized the lives of the most elite people and places, but they were read by everyone, everywhere — from airports to beaches to, sometimes, under the covers with a flashlight to hide from disapproving parents and partners.

Collins, whose books like "Hollywood Wives" were as brazenly sexual as they were proudly pulpy, sold hundreds of millions of novels in dozens of countries, and it led to a level of wealth, celebrity and glamour that in many ways surpassed her own characters, and arguably matched that of her older sister, "Dynasty" actress Joan Collins.

Collins died at age 77 of breast cancer in Los Angeles, her publicist Melody Korenbrot said.

Collins' tales of sex, glamour, power and more sex were a forerunner to the culture of "Desperate Housewives" and "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." Her books provided at first more than some wanted to hear, but she became the kind of author from whom readers could never get enough, providing forbidden fodder for housewives and for teenagers raiding their parents' bookshelves.

Collins told The Associated Press in a 2011 interview that she "never felt bashful writing about sex."

"As a writer, you can never think about who is going to read your books. Is it going to be my mom? My children? A lot of people say to me, 'Oh, I read your books under a cover with a flashlight when I was really young and I learned everything I know about sex from you.' "

She was born Jacqueline Jill Collins in London in 1937, the daughter of a theatrical agent and a dance teacher.

Her first novel, "The World is Full of Married Men," was a story of sex and show business set in "Swinging London" in the mid-1960s. It came out in 1968 and became a scandalous best-seller, banned in Australia and condemned by romance writer Barbara Cartland.

"Barbara Cartland said to me, 'Oh, Miss Collins, your books are filthy and disgusting and you are responsible for all the perverts in England,' " Collins told Porter Magazine in 2014. "I pause for a few moments and said, 'Thank you.' "

Collins followed in the 1970s with books like "The World is Full of Divorced Women" and "Lovers & Gamblers."

By the 1980s, she had moved to Los Angeles and turned out the 1983 novel she is still best known for, "Hollywood Wives," which has sold more than 15 million copies. It came at the same time that her sister hit the height of her own fame on "Dynasty."

"Dynasty" producer Aaron Spelling would also produce the 1985 hit TV miniseries of "Hollywood Wives," which featured Candice Bergen, Angie Dickinson and Suzanne Somers, among others.

It led to follow-ups like "Hollywood Husbands" (1986), "Hollywood Kids" (1984) and "Hollywood Wives: The New Generation" (2001).

The books made Jackie Collins a celebrity in her own right, and she loved the part, looking, living and behaving more like an actress than an author. In many ways, her own persona was her greatest character.

Collins embraced Twitter in her later years, and she loved the engagement with her over 150,000 followers.

"I love tweeting. I have so much fun with my fans," she told the AP in 2011. "I've asked them for reviews. I answer people's questions. Sometimes I'll do a little survey and say, 'Who is hot this week?' "

Many were using Twitter to mourn her Saturday night, including Oprah Winfrey, who Tweeted "RIP Jackie Collins. I always loved our interviews."

Larry King Tweeted that Collins was a "true talent, a beautiful being and a dear friend."

Collins' books didn't stick strictly to Hollywood. She penned a series of mafia novels documenting the lives of the Santangelo family, focusing on its patriarch Gino and his daughter Lucky. She wrote nine novels based on the family that included her last, "The Santangelos," published this year.

Collins told People magazine, which first reported her death Saturday, in her final interview Sept. 14 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer over six years ago, but she had chosen to keep the news among family, confiding mainly in her three daughters, 54-year-old Tracy, 48-year-old Tiffany and 46-year-old Rory.

A family statement called Collins "a true inspiration, a trailblazer for women in fiction and a creative force. She will live on through her characters but we already miss her beyond words."

Collins was married twice, the second time to art gallery and nightclub owner Oscar Lerman in 1965. Lerman died in 1992. She was then engaged to Los Angeles businessman Frank Calcagnini, who died in 1998.

Asked by the AP in 2011 if she was dating anyone, Collins said "I have a man for every occasion."

"When I was a kid growing up, I used to read my father's Playboy and I'd see these guys and they had fantastic apartments and cars," she said. "I have all of that now. Why would I want to hook myself up with one man when I've had two fantastic men in my life? One was my husband for over 20 years, and one was my fiance for six years."

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/09/20/best-selling-novelist-jackie-collins-dead-at-77/
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« Reply #469 on: September 21, 2015, 01:05:06 PM »

'Adventures of Superman' actor Jack Larson dies at 87



Larson dies at 87
Published September 21, 2015Deadline
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Actor Jack Larson, who portrayed "Jimmy Olson" on the Superman TV series, arrives at the opening night gala of the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival featuring a screening of a restoration of "An American In Paris" in Hollywood, California April 28, 2011. (Reuters)

Jack Larson, an actor, playwright, producer and screenwriter best known from the classic 1950s comic book series "The Adventures of Superman," died Sunday in his Brentwood home. He was 87 years old.

Born in 1928 in Los Angeles, Larson’s film debut was in the 1948 war movie “Fighter Squadron.” Intent on becoming a Broadway actor, he only reluctantly took the role as cub reporter and photographer Jimmy Olsen on "The Adventures of Superman." Afraid of being typecast, he agreed to appear in the series only after his agent convinced him the show was unlikely to be aired. The opposite happened, and "The Adventures of Superman" would air in syndication from 1952-1958.

Larson’s fears proved correct – when Superman ended, he found his ability to get new acting work severely limited by his association with the show. Encouraged by friends, he switched career paths, focusing on behind the scenes work and eventually forging a successful career as a librettist, playwright and producer. Among his plays are "The Candied House" (1966) "Chuck" (1968) and later in life, "The Astronaut’s Tale" (1998).

However, despite the role hurting his acting career, Larson never distanced himself from association with "The Adventures of Superman." Throughout his life he recalled it with fondness, and gave many interviews. He would often appear in cameo roles that mentioned his time as Jimmy Olsen, including an episode of "Lois & Clark," the short-lived early 90s series "Superboy," and an American Express commercial with noted Superman fanatic Jerry Seinfeld.

Larson’s long term romantic partner was director James Bridges. The two were together from 1958 until Bridges death in 1993.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/09/21/adventures-superman-actor-jack-larson-dies-at-87/
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« Reply #470 on: September 23, 2015, 12:53:58 AM »

Baseball great Yogi Berra dies at 90



When former Yankees general manager Larry MacPhail first saw Yogi Berra, he said the squat, goofy-looking catcher reminded him of "the bottom man on an unemployed acrobatic team."

At 5'8" with a paunchy body and mischievous smirk, Berra seemed an unlikely baseball hero. But the oft-quoted New York Yankees legend, who won three American League MVP awards and 10 World Series titles, is remembered as a clutch hitter and one of the greatest catchers of all time. He died Tuesday at the age of 90. No cause of death was immediately given.

Berra's death was confirmed in a Tweet from the Yogi Berry Museum, the Montclair, N.J.-based nonprofit that bears his name.

The beloved Hall of Famer -- who memorably uttered "When you come to a fork in the road, take it," among other malapropisms and contradictory phrases -- was an essential part of the Yankees dynasty that dominated Major League Baseball from the late 1940s to the early 1960s and included other greats like Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

Partly due to the Yankees' success during that era, Berra, who was also a 15-time All-Star, established several Fall Classic records, including most games played, most at-bats and most hits. In 1957, he became the first World Series pinch-hitter to hit a home run.

Proving, as he said, "It ain't over 'til it's over," Berra maintained a presence in the major leagues as a coach and manager -- he is one of only six managers to lead an American League and National League team to the World Series -- and became a symbol of New York baseball, past and present.

He was born Lawrence "Larry" Berra to Italian immigrant parents in St. Louis, Mo., on May 12, 1925 and acquired the nickname "Yogi" when a childhood friend observed that he resembled a Hindu yogi in a movie they saw.

Berra only attended school until eighth grade, after which he worked to help support his family and played American Legion ball. Though he signed with the Yankees in 1943, Berra first served in the Navy during World War II and fought during the D-Day invasion of Normandy before putting on pinstripes in the fall of 1946.

As a hitter, Berra would prove to have excellent coverage of the strike zone and incredible control of the bat. In five of his 19 seasons, he had more home runs than strikeouts and in 1950, he struck out just 12 times in 597 at-bats. He once explained, "If I can see it, I can hit it."

Berra was equally celebrated for his skill as a fielder and baseball stat guru Bill James determined, using his win shares formula, that Berra was the greatest catcher of all time. He once went 148 games without making an error and famously caught two no-hitters, both by Allie Reynolds in 1951, and one perfect game, by Don Larsen in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Yankee’s national popularity was such that an animated character – Yogi Bear – was named after him in 1958.

Berra initially ended his playing career with a 1963 World Series defeat to the now-Los Angeles Dodgers. He returned to the Yankees as manager in 1964 but was promptly fired after the team lost again in the World Series, this time to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Berra moved crosstown to become a player-coach for the New York Mets in 1965, but only took the field in four games. He became Mets manager in 1972 -- the same year he was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Berra guided the Mets to the 1973 World Series (in which they lost) before he rejoined the Yankees in 1976 as a coach.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner hired Berra to manage the team in 1984 and fired him just a few games into the next season, prompting a high-profile falling out between the two men that lasted until the legendary Steinbrenner apologized and Berra once again returned to the Bronx.

In his later years, Berra was a fixture at Yankees spring training, and just weeks before his 84th birthday, he threw an historic Opening Day first pitch at the new Yankee Stadium.

Berra, who was also known to the public as a commercial spokesman for Yoo-hoo, Entenmann's and other products, opened the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at Montclair State University in northern New Jersey in 1998 and helped raise funds for the National Italian American Foundation.

Berra outlived many of his teammates and peers and had a reputation among several generations of players and fans for being generous, approachable and humble.

He is survived by his three sons, all athletes, and 11 grandchildren.

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2015/09/23/baseball-great-yogi-berra-dies-at-0/
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« Reply #471 on: October 08, 2015, 12:03:01 AM »

Kevin Corcoran Dies: ‘Old Yeller’ Actor And TV Producer Was 66



Kevin Corcoran, best known to generations of film fans as the youngest brother in the classic, emotionally devastating Disney kids film Old Yeller, has died at 66, his family confirmed today. Corcoran enjoyed a career as a child actor before transitioning as an adult to a career behind the camera, working in various capacities on numerous films and television shows, including Pete’s Dragon, and most recently as a producer on Sons of Anarchy.

Born in Santa Monica, California, Corcoran got his start in a small role in The Glen Miller Story in 1954, quickly establishing himself as a child actor playing several different, yet similar characters all called “Moochie” in various Disney productions. He would play different versions of “Moochie” throughout the 1950s, and among his roles during this period were appearances in three Mickey Mouse Club serials, episodes of the series of television shorts Spin and Marty, and The Shaggy Dog.

These roles helped establish a long relationship with Disney, for whom Corcoran appeared in many productions as other characters, often as the young sidekick to the main character. In Pollyanna, he played the title character’s friend Jimmy Bean; He played the youngest son, Francis, in Swiss Family Robinson; and he played James Boone in the 1960 Daniel Boone miniseries, among many others. But it was his critical appearance as Arliss Coates in Old Yeller (1957) that cemented his legacy. In the film, Old Yeller’s rabies-driven attempt to bite Arliss is what forces his older brother Travis to put the dog down.

Travis was played by actor Tommy Kirk, and the two would go on to play brothers in four other Disney productions: The Shaggy Dog, Swiss Family Robinson, Bon Voyage, and the 1963 sequel to Old Yeller, Savage Sam.

Corcoran’s final major film role came in 1964’s A Tiger Walks. He went on to attend Cal State Northridge, after which he returned to entertainment, working for Disney as an assistant director and producer. During this period, he was involved with Superdad (1973), The Island at the Top of the World (1974) and Pete’s Dragon (1977), the moving further into production as an associate producer on several Disney family films. For his decades-long contributions to Disney, he was honored in 2006 as a Disney Legend.

Over his career, he served as assistant director on such shows as Quantum Leap, Profiler, and Karen Sisco, and worked for a long period of time on Murder, She Wrote. He later was a coproducer on several episodes of The Shield, and Sons of Anarchy.

Corcoran married his wife in 1972, and the two remained together until his death.

http://deadline.com/2015/10/old-yeller-actor-and-producer-kevin-corcoran-dies-at-66-1201568865/
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« Reply #472 on: October 08, 2015, 12:10:55 AM »

Billy Joe Royal, Who Sang ‘Down In The Boondocks,’ Dies At Home In His Sleep At 73



The pop and country singer best known for the 1965 tune “Down in the Boondocks,” Billy Joe Royal, has died. He was 73.

Not much is known about Billy Joe’s passing except that he died suddenly. People reported that he died in his sleep at home. His death was confirmed by friends and fellow singers, including Ronnie McDowell, who toured with Royal and had planned another set of shows with him starting in November, Taste of Country added.

Singer BJ Thomas, whom Royal had toured with often in recent years, had the most touching tribute.

    “My best friend Billy Joe Royal, died this morning. He was a sweet and talented man. Never a bad word. One of a kind.”

His last show was just last month, September 24, at the Gwinnett County Fair in the singer’s native Georgia, the Tennessean added. He died in his home in Marietta, North Carolina.

In between shows, he’d planned to take a break from touring for a few weeks so that he could spend time with his daughter, who attends NC State University.

The musician was born in 1942 and began his career at only 5-years-old, when he played a New Year’s Eve show featuring Gladys Knight. He was actually paid for the gig, Rolling Stone reported. By 9, he was taking steel guitar lessons and wanted to play in his uncle’s band.

Eventually, he performed on a radio show in Marietta called Georgia Jubilee, where he performed on Friday nights with musicians like Little Jimmy Dickens. There, he also met Joe South, who wrote “Down on the Boondocks,” his most famous song — which peaked at No. 9 — and another hit, “I Knew You When.”

He had another hit in 1969 with “Cherry Hill Park,” which he followed with a series of minor pop hits. Then, he signed with Atlantic in the mid-1980s. About the same time, he became friends with Kenny Rogers, who lived in the same neighborhood. Royal watched his friend, Thomas, score some country hits, and was inspired to try it himself.

And so, his country music career began.

By 1985, he sang his first hit — a tune called “Burned Like a Rocket” that was pulled from radio after the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy the following year. Billy Joe had more hits after that, including “I’ll Pin a Note on Your Pillow,” “Tell It Like It Is,” and “Till I Can’t Take It Anymore.”

Over the years, he toured with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars with Herman’s Hermits, Jackie DeShannon, and more. He also played with a backing band that included musicians who would go on to form the band Chicago, and was part of a house band at the Gilley’s-like Bamboo Ranch in Savannah.

His long career earned Billy Joe an induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1988, and he continued to tour throughout the 90s and 00s. He and touring partner Thomas released an album in 2007, called Going by Daydreams. This was followed by his last album, a 2009 gospel record inspired by Sam Cooke, titled His First Gospel Album.

With his voice “still in fine form,” according to the Tennessean, he was on deck to tour again starting in November with McDowell.

Following his sudden death, the music world is left to mourn the prolific and long-standing musician, both friends and family. An ex-wife, Michelle, survives him — they were reportedly still close — as well as a daughter Savannah, and two stepsons named Trey and Joey Riverbank.

Funeral arrangements are still being made.

http://www.inquisitr.com/2477129/billy-joe-royal-who-sang-down-in-the-boondocks-dies-at-home-in-his-sleep-at-73/
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« Reply #473 on: October 19, 2015, 04:58:57 PM »

'Petticoat Junction' actress Pat Woodell dies at 71


By Alex Stedman Published October 19, 2015




Pat Woodell, who played Bobbi Jo on 1960s CBS sitcom “Petticoat Junction,” died Sept. 29 in Fallbrook, Calif., according to the LA Times. She was 71.

Woodell played one of the Bradley sisters on “Petticoat Junction” from its debut in 1963-65, starring opposite Linda Kaye Henning as Betty Jo and Jeannine Riley as Billie Jo. Bea Benaderet played their mother Kate Bradley, the owner of the Shady Rest Hotel.

Woodell left the season after season two, and was replaced by Lori Saunders. The show, created by Hennings’ parents Paul and Ruth Henning, aired on CBS until April 1970.

Woodell was also a singer, performing with “Petticoat Junction” sisters on the show. She also performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964 with group The Ladybugs.

Her other TV credits include a 1962 episode of “Cheyenne” and appearances on “The Gallant Men,” “Hawaiian Eye,” “77 Sunset Strip” and “The Munsters.” She was signed by Warner Bros. in the early ’60s.

Woodell, a Winthrop, Mass., native, toured with comedian Jack Benny and recorded an album. She also appeared in 1971’s “The Big Doll House” alongside Pam Grier.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/10/19/pat-woodell-petticoat-junction-actress-dies-at-71/
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« Reply #474 on: October 21, 2015, 03:36:18 PM »

Three Dog Night vocalist Cory Wells dead at 74



Three Dog Night co-founder and vocalist Cory Wells died Tuesday, according to the band's website. He was 74.

"It is with deep sadness and disbelief that I must report the passing of Cory Wells, my beloved band mate for over 45 years," Three Dog Night's Danny Hutton wrote in a press release. "Cory was an incredible singer – a great performer, he could sing anything."

Wells "died unexpectedly" in Dunkirk, N.Y. He had been touring with the band until September 2015 when he developed "severe back pain." No cause of death was given.

"Cory was like a brother in so many ways," said Hutton. "We had been together since 1965 and I am in shock at this sudden loss."

The group is best known for its 1960s and 1970s hits "Joy to the World," ''Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" and "Black and White."

The band's keyboardist, Jimmy Greenspoon, died of cancer at 67 in March 2015. Wells said of his bandmate at the time, "I will be forever shattered by his death. Jimmy cared so much about excellence in the music and always made sure we had what we needed on stage and in the recording studio. I was amazed by his photographic memory, his love for music."

Wells is survived by his wife of 50 years, two daughters and five grandchildren.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/10/21/three-dog-night-vocalist-cory-wells-dead-at-74/
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« Reply #475 on: October 22, 2015, 12:41:12 AM »

Marty Ingels, Actor and Husband of Shirley Jones, Dies at 79



Marty Ingels, an actor, talent agent and industry raconteur who was married to Shirley Jones for nearly 40 years, died Wednesday at Tarzana Medical Center following a massive stroke. He was 79.

Ingels made his mark as a comic actor in the 1960s with his zany style and rapid-fire, raspy-voiced delivery. In later years he worked as an agent and as a voice artist in cartoons, in addition to producing.

“He often drove me crazy, but there’s not a day I won’t miss him and love him to my core,” Jones said.

Ingels co-starred opposite John Astin in the 1962 ABC comedy “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster” about two carpenters, one married and one a playboy; Ingels played the married Arch Fenster. The series, created by sitcom vet Leonard Stern, lasted only one season but has endured as a cult favorite among vintage TV fans.

Ingels logged numerous TV guest shots in that era. He notably played Rob Petrie’s Army buddy on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” and had appearances on “Bewitched,” “The Ann Sothern Show” and “Pete and Gladys.” He was also seen on the big screen in supporting roles in “Armoured Command” (1961), “The Horizontal Lieutenant” (1962), “Wild and Wonderful” (1964), “The Busy Body” (1967), “A Guide for the Married Man” (1967), “For Singles Only” (1968), “The Picasso Summer” (1969), and “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” (1969).

Born in Brooklyn in 1936, Martin Ingerman served a stint in the Army and then wound up in Los Angeles where he got his break as an actor at the Pasadena Playhouse.

By the 1970s, Ingels turned to working behind the scenes doing voice-over work on hundreds of commercials and cartoon series. He was the voice of AutoCat on “AutoCat and Motormouse” and Beegle Beagle on “The Great Grape Ape Show.” He later lent his distinctive vocal style to the 1980s videogame-inspired toon “Pac-Man.”

During this period Ingels also launched his own talent rep firm, Ingels Inc., which specialized in booking TV commercials for notable actors such as John Wayne, Cary Grant and Orson Welles.

Ingels and Jones met in 1974 at a party at the home of “Little House on the Prairie” star Michael Landon. They married in 1977. Ingels remarked of their odd-couple relationship: “I was a Jewish kid from Brooklyn and she was Miss America. A lot of people never got that.” The pair published the autobiography “Shirley & Marty: An Unlikely Love Story” in 1990.

Ingels continued to make periodic TV guest appearances on shows ranging from “The Love Boat,” “Baywatch” and “Murder She Wrote” to “ER,” “CSI” and a 2013 episode of “New Girl.”

In his later years, Ingels was relentless in promoting various TV, film and stage projects he sought to get off the ground as a producer. He was known to make frequent calls to Variety editors and reporters with story pitches. A conversation with Ingels could be time-consuming, but it was never dull.

In addition to Jones, Ingels’ survivors include three stepsons, Shaun, Patrick and Ryan Cassidy, Jones’ sons from her marriage to actor Jack Cassidy; a niece, Lauren Ingerman; and 12 grandchildren.

http://variety.com/2015/biz/news/marty-ingels-shirley-jones-dead-at-79-1201623801/
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« Reply #476 on: October 24, 2015, 11:41:27 AM »

Maureen O'Hara, spirited movie star, dies at 95



BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. –  Maureen O'Hara, the flame-haired Irish movie star who appeared in classics ranging from the grim "How Green Was My Valley" to the uplifting "Miracle on 34th Street" and bantered unforgettably with John Wayne in several films. She was 95.

O'Hara died in her sleep at her home in Boise, Idaho, said Johnny Nicoletti, her longtime manager.

"She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, `The Quiet Man,"' said a statement from her family.

"As an actress, Maureen O'Hara brought unyielding strength and sudden sensitivity to every role she played. Her characters were feisty and fearless, just as she was in real life.  She was also proudly Irish and spent her entire lifetime sharing her heritage and the wonderful culture of the Emerald Isle with the world," said a family biography.

O'Hara came to Hollywood to star in the 1939 "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and went on to a long career.

During her movie heyday, she became known as the Queen of Technicolor because of the camera's love affair with her vivid hair, pale complexion and fiery nature.

After her start in Hollywood with "Hunchback" and some minor films at RKO, she was borrowed by 20th Century Fox to play the beautiful young daughter in the 1941 saga of a coal-mining family, "How Green Was My Valley."

"How Green Was My Valley" went on to win five Oscars including best picture and best director for John Ford, beating out Orson Welles and "Citizen Kane" among others. It was the first of several films she made under the direction of Ford, who grouchy nature seemed to melt in her presence.

The popularity of "How Green Was My Valley" confirmed O'Hara's status as a Hollywood star. RKO and Fox shared her contract, and her most successful films were made at Fox.

They included "Miracle on 34th Street," the classic 1947 Christmas story in which O'Hara was little Natalie Wood's skeptical mother and among those charmed by Edmund Gwenn as a man who believed he was Santa Claus.

Other films included the costume drama "The Foxes of Harrow" (Rex Harrison, 1947); the comedy "Sitting Pretty" (Clifton Webb, 1948); and the sports comedy "Father Was a Fullback" (Fred MacMurray, 1949).

Often she sailed the high seas in colorful pirate adventures such as "The Black Swan" with Tyrone Power, "The Spanish Main" with Paul Henreid, "Sinbad the Sailor" with Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and "Against All Flags" with Errol Flynn.

With Ford's "Rio Grande" in 1950, O'Hara became Wayne's favorite leading lady. The most successful of their five films was the 1952 "The Quiet Man," also directed by Ford, in which she matched Wayne blow for blow in a classic donnybrook.

With her Irish spunk, she could stand up to the rugged Duke, both on and off screen. She was proud when he remarked in an interview that he preferred to work with men -- "except for Maureen O'Hara; she's a great guy."

"We met through Ford, and we hit it right off," she remarked in 1991. "I adored him, and he loved me. But we were never sweethearts. Never, ever."

O'Hara's other movies with Wayne were "The Wings of Eagles" (1957), "McClintock!" (1963) and "Big Jake" (1971).

After her studio contracts ended, she remained busy. She played the mother of twins, both played by Hayley Mills, who conspire to reunite their divorced parents in the 1961 Disney comedy "The Parent Trap."

She was also in "Spencer's Mountain" with Henry Fonda (1963), a precursor to TV's "The Waltons"; and a Western, "The Rare Breed," with James Stewart (1966).

In 1968, she married her third husband, Brig. Gen. Charles Blair. After "Big Jake," she quit movies to live with him in the Virgin Islands, where he operated an airline. He died in a plane crash in 1978.

"Being married to Charlie Blair and traveling all over the world with him, believe me, was enough for any woman," she said in a 1995 Associated Press interview. "It was the best time of my life."

She returned to movies in 1991 for a role that writer-director Chris Columbus had written especially for her, as John Candy's feisty mother in a sentimental drama, "Only the Lonely." It was not a box-office success.

Over the following decade, she did three TV movies: "The Christmas Box," based on a best-selling book, a perennial holiday attraction; "Cab to Canada," a road picture; and "The Last Dance."

While making "The Christmas Box" in 1995, she admitted that roles for someone her age (75), were scarce: "The older a man gets, the younger the parts that he plays. The older a woman gets, you've got to find parts that are believable. Since I'm not a frail character, it's not that easy."

Maureen FitzSimons  was born in 1920 near Dublin, Ireland. Her mother was a well-known opera singer, and her father owned a string of soccer teams. Through her father, she learned to love sports; through her mother, she and her five siblings were exposed to the theater.

"My first ambition was to be the No. 1 actress in the world," she recalled in 1999. "And when the whole world bowed at my feet, I would retire in glory and never do anything again."

Maureen was admitted to the training program at Dublin's famed Abbey Theater, where she was a prize student. When word of the beautiful Irish teen reached London, she was offered a screen test, and a friend convinced her reluctant parents to allow it.

Maureen considered the test a failure, but it led to a few small roles in English films. The great actor Charles Laughton, who was producing and starring in films made in England, saw the test and was intrigued by her dancing eyes. At 17 she co-starred opposite him in a pirate yarn, "Jamaica Inn," directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Laughton gave her a more manageable name: O'Hara.

With the onslaught of World War II, filmmaking virtually halted in England. Laughton moved to RKO in Hollywood and starred as Quasimodo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," with O'Hara as the beautiful gypsy girl, Esmeralda.

Her first husband was director George Hanley Brown, whom she met while making "Jamaica Inn." When she moved to Hollywood, he remained in England and the marriage was annulled.

In 1941, she married a tall, handsome director, Will Price, and they had a daughter, Bronwyn, in 1944. "The marriage was a terrible mistake, and we divorced in 1952," she said. She remained unmarried until the wedding to Blair in 1968.

After his death, she continued living for many years in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, spending summers in Ireland. More recently, she lived much of the time with a grandson in Scottsdale, Ariz., though she kept a condo in St. Croix.

O'Hara's career was threatened by a manufactured scandal in 1957, when Confidential magazine claimed she and a lover engaged in "the hottest show in town" in a back row in Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theater.

But at the time, she told AP, "I was making a movie in Spain, and I had the passport to prove it." She testified against the magazine in a criminal libel trial and brought a lawsuit that was settled out of court. The magazine eventually went out of business.

On the screen, O'Hara always played strong, willful women. In a 1991 interview, she was asked if she was the same woman she appeared in movies.

"I do like to get my own way," she said. "But don't think I'm not acting when I'm up there. And don't think I always get my own way. There have been crushing disappointments. But when that happens, I say, `Find another hill to climb."'

She is survived by her daughter, Bronwyn FitzSimons of Glengarriff, Ireland; her grandson, Conor FitzSimons of Boise and two great-grandchildren.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/10/24/maureen-ohara-spirited-movie-star-dies-at-5/
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« Reply #477 on: October 31, 2015, 01:36:19 PM »

'Happy Days' star Al Molinaro dies at 96 in California hospital



GLENDALE, Calif. –  Al Molinaro, the loveable character actor with the hangdog face who was known to millions of TV viewers for playing Murray the cop on "The Odd Couple" and malt shop owner Al Delvecchio on "Happy Days," died Friday at Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, his son Michael Molinaro said.

Molinaro, retired from acting since the 1990s, died of complications of gallstone problems, his son said. He was 96.

The Kenosha, Wisconsin, native was a journeyman performer well into middle age when a comedy improv class led to his breakthrough. Producer Garry Marshall heard about Molinaro and hired him for the part of police Officer Murray Greshler on "The Odd Couple," the TV version of Neil Simon's play about feuding roommates. It starred Tony Randall as photographer Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as sports writer Oscar Madison and featured Molinaro as one of their buddies, a simpleminded policemen who at times seemed as much a threat to his friends as he did to any crooks.

"The Odd Couple" ran from 1970-75 and not only demonstrated Molinaro's knack for goofiness, but exploited his most distinctive feature — his plus-sized nose. In one defining scene, Murray attempts to enter his friends' apartment, but the door is locked. Murray instead sticks his nose through a peephole.

"Oh, hi Murray," Oscar calls out.

His son Michael said that Molinaro "was good friends till the end with all of the group of people involved in 'The Odd Couple.' "

His next long-running role was that of Al Delvecchio in "Happy Days," the 1974-1984 nostalgic sitcom about 1950s life that starred Ron Howard and Henry Winkler. Molinaro joined the cast in 1976, replacing Pat Morita as the owner of Arnold's Drive-In, and remained until 1982.

In ABC's 1992 "'Happy Days' Reunion Special," Molinaro defended the show from criticism that it sentimentalized the 1950s.

"In the industry, they used to consider us like a bubble-gum show," he said. "But I think they overlooked one thing. To the public in America, 'Happy Days' was an important show, and I think it was and I think it still is."

Molinaro built on his "Happy Days" success for years after he left the show. He brought the character of Al to "Joanie Loves Chachi," a short-lived "Happy Days" spinoff that aired from 1982-83. In 1987, he and Anson Williams, who played Potsie on "Happy Days," started Big Al's, a Midwestern diner chain.

He brought Al back for a brief appearance in "Buddy Holly," a 1995 music video for the group Weezer that was directed by Spike Jonze.

Molinaro played a grandfather in "The Family Man" sitcom that aired from 1990-1991, and continued to make guest appearances on other series through the early '90s. He also filmed commercials, notably for On-Cor frozen dinners.

Molinaro came to acting late in life. He had a brief teenage stint as a clarinet player with a band, then worked at a variety of jobs after graduating high school. He moved to California in the early 1950s on casual advice from a friend who suggested he pursue acting.

"I said, 'I'll do that,'" Molinaro told the Kenosha News in a 2004 interview. "I get on the Greyhound bus and I'm in Hollywood."

His first TV job was in production, when he talked an independent TV station manager into hiring him. Then it was on to TV commercials and ads, including a Los Angeles billboard that featured him in a chef's cap. The producers of "Get Smart" spotted it and hired Molinaro to play Agent 44 for a few episodes in 1969. That was followed by guest roles in such sitcoms as "Green Acres," ''That Girl" and "Bewitched."

"I spent 20 years here before I got anything going, and from that I got lucky," he said.

Molinaro had a son, Michael, from his first marriage. He and his second wife, Betty Farrell, married in 1981.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2015/10/31/happy-days-star-al-molinaro-dies-at-6-in-california-hospital/
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« Reply #478 on: January 01, 2016, 02:45:09 PM »

Wayne Rogers, Trapper John on 'M*A*S*H*,' dies at 82



LOS ANGELES –  Wayne Rogers, whose Trapper John McIntyre alongside Alan Alda's Hawkeye Pierce brought mischief, martinis and meatball surgery to the masses in the 1970s every week on "M.A.S.H.," has died.

The actor was surrounded by family when he died Thursday in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia at age 82, his publicist and longtime friend Rona Menashe told The Associated Press.

Rogers' army surgeon Trapper John was one of the most beloved characters -- and half of one of the most beloved duos -- in TV history, despite the actor's appearing in only the first three of the show's 11 seasons on CBS.

The two skilled doctors, Hawkeye and Trapper, blew off steam between surgeries pulling pranks, romancing nurses and tormenting their tent-mate Frank Burns, with a seemingly endless supply of booze and one-liners at the ready.

In one classic moment, Trapper reaches out as though he's checking for rain and says, "Hmm, feels like it's going to martini," as Hawkeye promptly passes him a drink.

And in another line that typified the show's ethos, Trapper answers a question with "How should I know? I dropped out of school to become a doctor."

McIntyre was on "M.A.S.H." from 1972 to 1975, becoming one of many original cast members to leave the wildly popular show that went on until 1983. He was initially considered for Alda's character, but he preferred Trapper's sunnier disposition to Hawkeye's darkly acerbic personality.

The characters were essentially equals when the show began, but it increasingly focused on Alda, which was a factor in Rogers' departure.

Two other actors played Trapper in other incarnations. Elliot Gould was same character in the "M.A.S.H." feature film that preceded the TV show, and Pernell Roberts played the title character in the 1980s spinoff drama "Trapper John, M.D."

An Alabama native and Princeton University graduate, Rogers had parts on many short-lived shows early in his career, specializing in westerns like "Law of the Plainsman" and "Stagecoach West." He had a bit part in the 1967 film "Cool Hand Luke" with Paul Newman.

In the years after "M.A.S.H." he returned to TV regularly, including a recurring role in the early 1990s on "Murder, She Wrote."

He moved beyond acting to see serious success later in life as a money manager and investor. In 1988 and 1990, he appeared as an expert witness before the House Judiciary Committee to speak in favor of maintaining the Glass-Steagall banking laws of the 1930s. In recent years he was a regular panelist on the Fox News stock investment show "Cashin' In."

Rogers is survived by his wife Amy, two children, Bill and Laura, and four grandchildren.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/01/01/wayne-rogers-trapper-john-on-mash-dies-at-82/
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« Reply #479 on: January 01, 2016, 02:51:26 PM »

Jazz icon Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat 'King' Cole, dead at 65



Natalie Cole, the Grammy-winning daughter of Nat "King" Cole" who carried on her late father's musical legacy and, through technology, shared a duet with him on "Unforgettable," has died. She was 65.

Natalie died Thursday evening at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to complications from ongoing health issues, her family said in a statement.

"Natalie fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived ... with dignity, strength and honor. Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever," read the statement from her son Robert Yancy and sisters Timolin and Casey Cole.

Cole had battled drug problems and hepatitis that forced her to undergo a kidney transplant in May 2009. Cole's older sister, Carol "Cookie" Cole, died the day she received the transplant. Their brother, Nat Kelly Cole, died in 1995.

Natalie Cole was inspired by her dad at an early age and auditioned to sing with him when she was just 11 years old. She was 15 when he died of lung cancer, in 1965.

She began as an R&B singer but later gravitated toward the smooth pop and jazz standards that her father loved.

Cole's greatest success came with her 1991 album, "Unforgettable ... With Love," which paid tribute to her father with reworked versions of some of his best-known songs, including "That Sunday That Summer," ''Too Young" and "Mona Lisa."

Her voice was spliced with her dad's in the title cut, offering a delicate duet a quarter-century after his death.

The album sold some 14 million copies and won six Grammys, including album of the year as well record and song of the year for the title track duet.

While making the album, Cole told The Associated Press in 1991, she had to "throw out every R&B lick that I had ever learned and every pop trick I had ever learned. With him, the music was in the background and the voice was in the front."

"I didn't shed really any real tears until the album was over," Cole said. "Then I cried a whole lot. When we started the project it was a way of reconnecting with my dad. Then when we did the last song, I had to say goodbye again."

She was also nominated for an Emmy award in 1992 for a televised performance of her father's songs.

"That was really my thank you," she told People magazine in 2006. "I owed that to him."

Another father-daughter duet, "When I Fall in Love," won a 1996 Grammy for best pop collaboration with vocals, and a follow-up album, "Still Unforgettable," won for best traditional pop vocal album of 2008.

Cole made her recording debut in 1975 with "Inseparable." The music industry welcomed her with two Grammy awards — one for best new artist and one for best female R&B vocal performance for her buoyant hit "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)."

She also worked as an actress, with appearances on TV's "Touched by an Angel" and "Grey's Anatomy."

But she was happiest touring and performing live.

"I still love recording and still love the stage," she said on her website in 2008, "but like my dad, I have the most fun when I am in front of that glorious orchestra or that kick-butt big band."

Cole was born in 1950 to Nat "King" Cole and his wife, Maria Ellington Cole, a onetime vocalist with Duke Ellington who was no relation to the great bandleader.

Her father was already a recording star, and he rose to greater heights in the 1950s and early '60s. He toured worldwide, and in 1956 he became the first black entertainer to host a national TV variety show, though poor ratings and lack of sponsors killed it off the following year. He also appeared in a few movies and spoke out in favor of civil rights.

Natalie Cole grew up in Los Angeles' posh Hancock Park neighborhood, where her parents had settled in 1948 despite animosity from some white residents about having the black singer as a neighbor. When told by residents didn't want "undesirable people" in the area, the singer said, "Neither do I, and if I see (any), I'll be the first to complain."

The family eventually included five children.

Natalie Cole started singing seriously in college, performing in small clubs.

But in her 2000 autobiography, "Angel on My Shoulder," Cole discussed how she had battled heroin, crack cocaine and alcohol addiction for many years. She spent six months in rehab in 1983.

When she announced in 2008 that she had been diagnosed with hepatitis C, a liver disease spread through contact with infected blood, she blamed her past intravenous drug use.

She criticized the Recording Academy for giving five Grammys to drug user Amy Winehouse in 2008.

"I'm an ex-drug addict and I don't take that kind of stuff lightly," Cole explained at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Hepatitis C "stayed in my body for 25 years and it could still happen to this young woman or other addicts who are fooling around with drugs, especially needles."

Cole received chemotherapy to treat the hepatitis and "within four months, I had kidney failure," she told CNN's Larry King in 2009. She needed dialysis three times a week until she received a donor kidney on May 18, 2009. The organ procurement agency One Legacy facilitated the donation from a family that had requested that their donor's organ go to Cole if it was a match.

Cole toured through much of her illness, often receiving dialysis at hospitals around the globe.

"I think that I am a walking testimony to you can have scars," she told People magazine. "You can go through turbulent times and still have victory in your life."

Cole had battled drug problems and hepatitis that forced her to undergo a kidney transplant in May 2009.

Cole's 1991 album, "Unforgettable ... With Love," sold some 14 million copies and won six Grammys. It featured reworked versions of some of her father's best-known songs.

On the title cut, "Unforgettable," she sang along with her father's taped version to create a memorable duet.

Nat "King" Cole died of lung cancer in 1965.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/01/01/jazz-icon-natalie-cole-daughter-nat-king-cole-dead-at-65/
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