Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The passings parade

Once upon a time here on the blog, I promised myself that I would note celebrity passings each week in the titular feature…and I don’t have to elaborate on how that fell by the wayside after the first week in August—but in my defense I was rather busy with other things.  (These Please Don’t Eat the Daisies episodes don’t watch themselves, you know.)  N-E-wayz, I decided that I’d try to get caught up today with famous persons who said their goodbyes to this mortal coil and have gone on to their greater rewards…and if I leave anybody out I hope a) you’ll gently nudge me via the comments section (keep in mind that I can’t include everybody but if you feel that I neglected an important person I’m certainly willing to hear you out), and b) accept my sincerest apologies in advance.  Because I let this go for so long I kind of held back on some of the personal observations, and I express regret for that as well.


John Wood (August 6, 81) – Tony Award-winning stage, screen and television character actor best known on this side of the pond for his role as Professor Falken in the 1983 cult film WarGames; his other film appearances include The Mouse on the Moon, Nicholas and Alexandra, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Ladyhawke, Orlando, The Madness of King George and Richard III

Fred Imus (August 6, 69) – Brother and frequent guest of asshole radio talk show host Don Imus (Imus in the Morning); co-wrote Jim Ed Brown & Helen Cornelius #1 1976 country smash I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You

Hugh Carey (August 7, 92) – Former New York Democratic Congressman (1961-74) who was governor of the state from 1975 to 1982 and is credited by many as “the man who saved New York

Marshall Grant (August 7, 83) – Bass player for Johnny Cash (part of the Tennessee Two) from 1954 to 1990

Mark O. Hatfield (August 7, 89) – Former Republican Governor of Oregon (1959-67) and later U.S. Senator from 1967 to 1997

Billy Grammer (August 10, 85) – Country music singer-songwriter legend and Grand Ole Opry member best known for his 1958 million-selling country-pop smash Gotta Travel On

Jani Lane (August 11, 47) – Rock ‘n’ roll musician and lead vocalist for the group Warrant (off-and-on, due to alcohol and substance abuse problems)

Ernie Johnson (August 12, 87) – Former major league baseball pitcher (with the Milwaukee/Boston Braves and Baltimore Orioles) who was beloved by Georgians as a color commentator and play-by-play man for the Atlanta Braves from 1962 to 1999

Robert Breer (August 13, 84) – Painter, sculptor and experimental filmmaker

Jimmy Sangster (August 19, 83) – British screenwriter, director and producer best known for his long association with Hammer Films, contributing to such movies as X, the Unknown, The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula (Horror of Dracula), The Mummy and Scream of Fear (Taste of Fear)

Reza Badiyi (August 20, 81) – Prolific Iranian-American television director (he established a Directors Guild of America record for the most hours of episodic TV) of such TDOY faves as Get Smart, Mission: Impossible, Mannix and The Rockford Files; also did the title sequences for the likes of Hawaii Five-O and Mary Tyler Moore

Ross Barbour (August 20, 82) – Founding member of The Four Freshmen jazz vocal quartet, known for their close harmonies and hits like It’s a Blue World and It Happened Once Before

Patricia Hardy (August 20, 80) – Film and television actress whose movies include Girls in the Night and Don’t Knock the Rock; also guested on such shows as The Loretta Young Show and Perry Mason (and was married to actor Richard Egan from 1958-87)

Nickolas Ashford (August 22, 70) – R&B singer-songwriter-producer who co-wrote such smashes as Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, You’re All I Need to Get By and Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing with wife Valerie Simpson; the two also recorded their own hit duets like Found a Cure and Solid

John Howard Davies (August 22, 72) – Former British child actor (Oliver Twist, The Rocking Horse Winner) who’s probably better known as a director-producer of such hit Britcoms as All Gas and Gaiters, The Goodies, Steptoe and Son, Fawlty Towers, The Good Life and Monty Python’s Flying Circus (the first five episodes)

Jerry Leiber (August 22, 78) – Rock ‘n’ roll songwriting legend whose sixty-year partnership with Mike Stoller created more hit records than you’ve had hot dinners: Hound Dog, Young Blood, Jailhouse Rock, Yakety Yak, Poison Ivy, Kansas City, Stand by Me, On Broadway…and the list goes on

Michael Showers (August 22, 45) – Film and television actor discovered drowned in the Mississippi River near the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA; appeared in such films as Traffic, I Love You Phillip Morris and The Tree of Life and was known to TV audiences as Capt. John Guirdy on Treme

Sybil Jason (August 23, 83) – South African-born moppet film star of the 1930s whose movies include Barnacle Bill, Little Big Shot, I Found Stella Parish, The Great O’Malley, Comet Over Broadway, The Little Princess and The Blue Bird

Frank Potenza (August 23, 77) – Former NYC policeman who made multiple appearances on his nephew Jimmy Kimmel’s late night TV show as “Uncle Frank”

Frank DiLeo (August 24, 63) – Music industry executive who achieved success as vice-president of promotion at Epic Records in the 1980s and later became manager to Michael Jackson; he also appears in the films Goodfellas, Wayne’s World and Wayne’s World 2

Jack Hayes (August 24, 92) – Composer and orchestrator who began his long career in radio as an arranger for Fibber McGee & Molly and with partner Leo Shuken orchestrated such films as The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird and Days of Wine and Roses; also worked on such TV shows as Quincy, M.E. and Laverne & Shirley

B. Jeff Stone (August 26, 75) – Rockabilly singer-songwriter whose career began in the 1950s with the single Hey, Little Newsboy and later became popular in Europe with such songs as Everybody But Me

Eve Brent (August 27, 82) – Film and television character actress who changed her name (from Jean Lewis) in 1957 when she was cast in Samuel Fuller’s Forty Guns and later appeared in such films as Coogan’s Bluff, The Barefoot Executive, Fade to Black, Racing with the Moon and The Green Mile; best known as Jane to Gordon Scott’s Tarzan in 1958’s Tarzan and the Trappers and Tarzan Fights For Life

Nico Minardos (August 27, 81) – Greek-born film and television actor whose film credits include Istanbul, Twelve Hours to Kill, It Happened in Athens and the 2010 documentary Finding Nico

George Green (August 28, 59) – Songwriter and lyricist who collaborated on many of rocker John Cougar Mellencamp’s hits including Hurts So Good and Crumblin’ Down

Leonard Harris (August 28, 81) – WCBS-TV arts and entertainment critic (and later novelist) who flexed his thespic muscles in the films Taxi Driver (as Senator Palantine) and Hero at Large

David Pressman (August 29, 97) – Emmy Award-winning daytime TV director (One Life to Live) who started his career during the Golden Age of Television (and sadly, was blacklisted not long after); father of prolific boob tube director Michael

David "Honeyboy" Edwards (August 29, 96) – Chicago blues legend and “the last of the Delta bluesmen”

Peggy Lloyd (August 30, 98) – Broadway acting legend whose productions include Having Wonderful Time (with John Garfield) and Romeo and Juliet; she married actor-director-producer Norman Lloyd and appears with him in 2007’s Who is Norman Lloyd?


Charles S. Dubin (September 5, 92) – Television director whose early career in its Golden Age was sidelined by the blacklist but rebounded to where he helmed more episodes of M*A*S*H than any other director, not to mention The Defenders, The Virginian, Hawaii Five-O, Lou Grant and scores of others

Jordan Belson (September 6, 85) – Avant-garde animator and experimental filmmaker

Michael S. Hart (September 6, 64) – Inventor of the eBook and founder of the online Project Gutenberg

George Kuchar (September 6, 69) – Experimental underground filmmaker whose works were a major influence on director John Waters

Wardell Quezergue (September 6, 81) – New Orleans bandleader-composer-arranger known as “the Creole Beethoven”

Eddie Marshall (September 7, 73) – Bay Area jazz drummer

Mary Fickett (September 8, 83) – Emmy Award-winning stage, screen and TV actress best known for her role as Ruth Martin on the daytime drama All My Children

Cliff Robertson (September 10, 88) – Academy Award-winning actor-director (Charly) whose films include Picnic, Autumn Leaves, The Naked and the Dead, Underworld USA, PT 109, The Best Man, J.W. Coop, Three Days of the Condor, Brainstorm and Spider-Man; also had a number of memorable TV appearances including a stint on Falcon Crest and the titular role of Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers

Ralph Lomma (September 12, 87) – American miniature golf entrepreneur who revitalized the game in the U.S. by adding innovations like the windmill obstacle

Wade Mainer (September 12, 104) – Pioneering banjo musician and front man for the Sons of the Mountaineers called by some “the grandfather of bluegrass”

John Calley (September 13, 81) – Studio executive and motion picture producer whose credits include The Loved One, Don’t Make Waves, Catch-22, Fat Man and Little Boy and The Remains of the Day

Wilma Lee Cooper (September 13, 90) – West Virginia-born country songstress (and Grand Ole Opry member) whose long recording association with husband Stoney yielded Top Ten hits like Wreck on the Highway, There’s a Big Wheel and Big Midnight Special

Jack Garner (September 13, 84) – Brother of TDOY actor god James who had recurring roles on his sibling’s series The Rockford Files (as Capt, McEnroe) and Bret Maverick (as Jack the bartender); also appears in the films Wild Rovers, Sunset and My Fellow Americans

Carl Oglesby (September 13, 76) – Anti-war activist who was president of Students for a Democratic Society from 1965 to 1966…who later co-wrote a book with Bob Vila in the 90s

Frances Bay (September 15, 92) – Canadian TV and film character actress who’s identified in every obituary as Happy Gilmore’s Grandma but to us at TDOY she’ll always be the “Marble Rye Lady” from Seinfeld

Mo Rothman (September 15, 92) – Veteran motion picture studio executive whose crowning achievement was convincing Charlie Chaplin to return to the United States in 1972

Norma Eberhardt Dauphin (September 16, 82) – Film and television actress whose TV credits include Dragnet, The Lawless Years and Hogan’s Heroes; her movies include Problem Girls, Live Fast, Die Young and the cult classic The Return of Dracula

Dave Gavitt (September 16, 73) – College basketball coach who founded the Big East Conference in 1979 (serving as its first commissioner)…which will say “adios mo’fo” to WVU when the Mounties join the Big 12 next year

Kara Kennedy (September 16, 51) – Oldest daughter of Senator Ted Kennedy who worked as a TV producer and director, primarily for Evening Magazine at Boston’s WBZ

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (September 16, 75) – Chicago blues legend who won a Grammy in 2010 for the album Joined at the Hip with Pinetop Perkins

Tom Wilson, Sr. (September 16, 80) – Creator of the comic strip Ziggy, which was a phenomenally popular feature despite my never meeting anyone who admitted liking it

Eleanor Mondale (September 17, 51) – Daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale who worked as a radio and TV actress-personality (Dynasty, Three’s Company)

Charles H. Percy (September 17, 91) – Longtime Illinois Republican Senator (1967-85) whose daughter Sharon married John J. Rockefeller IV, becoming a one-time WV first lady (when Jay was Gov) and is currently president of public broadcasting’s WETA-TV

Jack Adler (September 18, 94) – Comic book artist who worked at DC Comics for many years as vice president in charge of production

Tom Daly (September 18, 93) – Canadian film producer who worked primarily for that country’s National Film Board

William F. May (September 18, 95) – American Can Company executive who founded the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ film society

Dolores Hope (September 19, 102) – Professional singer who met a comedian named Bob one day in 1934…I guess you know the rest

Frank Driggs (September 20, 81) – Grammy Award-winning jazz producer, archivist and historian

Arch West (September 20, 97) – Inventor of Doritos

Robert Whitaker (September 20, 71) – British photographer who’ll be enshrined in immortality as the man who shot the Beatles’ notorious “butcher-block” cover for their album Yesterday and Today

John Du Cann (September 21, 66) – Rock singer and guitarist who performed with such groups as Thin Lizzy and Atomic Rooster

Paulette Dubost (September 21, 100) – French motion picture actress best known for her role in the 1939 Jean Renoir masterpiece La Règle du Jeu—but she also gets the great Buster Keaton to smile onscreen in his French feature Le Roi des Champs-Elysées

Peter E. Berger (September 22, 67) – Film and television editor whose credits include Mommie Dearest, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Fatal Attraction, Less Than Zero, Hocus Pocus and Save the Last Dance

Jonathan Cecil (September 22, 72) – British stage, screen and television character actor whose credits include Barry Lyndon, History of the World—Part I, And the Ship Sails On, Little Dorrit and The Child Eater
Vic Roby (September 22, 93) – Radio (Monitor) and TV announcer (for NBC) whose was one of the voices that intoned “Now, a special program in living color on NBC!”; also hosted the WNBC-TV public affairs program Direct Line from 1959 to 1973

Vesta Williams (September 22, 53) – R&B vocalist best known for such songs as Sweet, Sweet Love, Special and Congratulations

Jessy Dixon (September 26, 73) – Gospel singer-songwriter and pianist who wrote tunes for such divas artists as Amy Grant, Natalie Cole, Cher and Diana Ross

David Zelag Goodman (September 26, 81) – Film and television screenwriter (he began his career penning episodes of Naked City, The Untouchables and Combat!) whose credits include Lovers and Other Strangers, Monte Walsh, Straw Dogs and Farewell, My Lovely

Jerry Haynes (September 26, 84) – Dallas-based character actor best known as kid show host “Mr. Peppermint” on local programs telecast between 1961-69 and 1975-96; also had roles in feature films like Places in the Heart, Sweet Dreams, RoboCop and Boys Don’t Cry

Uan Rasey (September 26, 90) – American musician who played trumpet on many of the soundtracks to MGM musicals beginning in 1949 (An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain, Gigi); best known for plying his trade on the soundtrack to the 1974 classic Chinatown

David Croft (September 27, 89) – Legendary Britcom writer-producer who created with partner Jimmy Perry Dad’s Army, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and Hi-de-Hi! and with Jeremy Lloyd Croft created Are You Being Served? (and the revival series Grace and Favour) and ‘Allo ‘Allo!

"Country" Johnny Mathis (September 27, 77) – Country music singer-songwriter (he used “Country” in front of his name to avoid confusion with the same-named pop singer) who scored a Top Ten hit with partner Jimmy Lee Fautheree in 1954 with If You Don’t Somebody Else Will (as Jimmy & Johnny); later struck out as a solo artist, writing songs for George Jones and Ray Price and scoring hits like Please Talk to My Heart

Johnnie Wright (September 27, 97) – Country music singer-songwriter who first recorded hits in the 1950s with Jack Anglin as Johnnie & Jack (Poison Love, [Oh Baby Mine] I Get So Lonely); later became a solo artist, marrying Kitty Wells and scoring a #1 record in 1964 with the Tom T. Hall-penned Hello Vietnam (featured on the Full Metal Jacket soundtrack)

Sylvia Robinson (September 29, 75) – Vocalist and record producer considered by many to be “The Mother of Hip Hop”; with husband Mickey Baker recorded the 1957 pop music smash Love is Strange

Marv Tarplin (September 30, 70) – R&B guitarist-songwriter who as a member of the Miracles penned such hits as The Tracks of My Tears and Going to a Go-Go; also co-wrote hits for the likes of Marvin Gaye (I’ll Be Doggone, Ain’t That Peculiar) and Smokey Robinson when he went solo (Cruisin’, Being With You)


George E. Ballard (October 1, 92) – Philadelphia jazz drummer who jammed with all the greats: Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, etc.

David Bedford (October 1, 74) – British composer-musician whose work can be heard in such films as The Killing Fields, Absolute Beginners, The Mission and Orlando

Don Lapre (October 2, 47) – TV huckster-pitchman dubbed “The King of Infomercials” who committed suicide shortly after he was to scheduled to stand trial on 41 charges including conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering

Kay Armen (October 3, 95) – Motion picture, radio and TV singer-actress whose credits include OTR’s Breakfast Club and Stop the Music and films such as Hit the Deck and Hey, Let’s Twist!; also co-starred on the 1959-60 sitcom Love and Marriage

David I. Mitchell (October 3, 79) – Tony Award-winning set designer who was recognized for his efforts on such stage musicals as Annie and Barnum

Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr. (October 3, 92) – Market research executive who took over his father’s company in 1923 and made it synonymous—for better or worse—with what TV audiences decide will stay on the air or no

Rollin Post (October 3, 81) – Veteran TV journalist renowned for his political reporting in the Bay Area on such stations as KPIX, KQED and KRON

Joe Aceti (October 4, 76) – Television director recognized for innovations in sports coverage including the Olympics and the World Series

Doris Belack (October 4, 85) – Film and television character actress known for recurring roles on such series as Baker’s Dozen, Laurie Hill, Family Album and Law & Order; her film credits include The Black Marble, Tootsie, *batteries not included, What About Bob? and Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

Daisy DeBolt (October 4, 66) – Canadian folk singer who recorded as one half of the vocal duo Fraser & DeBolt

Charles Napier (October 5, 75) – TDOY character actor fave whose vast film and television work includes memorable roles in The Blues Brothers and Rambo: First Blood Part II; for some reason I always remember him as the bigamous trucker in Jonathan Demme’s Citizens Band (aka Handle With Care)

Billy Naylor (October 5, 95) – Former moppet actor who appeared in a few of the silent Our Gang shorts (Uncle Tom’s Uncle, Telling Whoppers) and films like The King of Kings and Reducing

Fred Shuttlesworth (October 5, 89) – Birmingham, AL minister who was one of the founders of the SCLC and a key player in the civil rights movement

Bess Bonnier (October 6, 83) – Detroit jazz pianist

Diane Cilento (October 6, 78) – Australian stage, screen and television actress whose film credits include Tom Jones, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Hombre and The Wicker Man

Marilyn Nash (October 6, 84) – Film and TV actress and casting director whose best known film role was that opposite Charlie Chaplin in Monsieur Verdoux

George Baker (October 7, 80) – British actor and author best known as Chief Inspector Wexford on TV’s The Ruth Rendell Mysteries; his films include On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, Hopscotch and For Queen & Country

Paul Kent (October 7, 80) – Stage, screen and television character actor whose credits include Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan, Perfect, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and TV’s Hotel and Port Charles

Andrew Laszlo (October 7, 85) – Hungarian-born film and TV cinematographer whose credits include the series Naked City and Coronet Blue and such films as One Potato, Two Potato, You’re a Big Boy Now, The Night They Raided Minsky’s, Popi and Lovers and Other Strangers

Milan Puskar (October 7, 77) – Morgantown, WV philanthropist and co-founder of Mylan Labs who was very good to West Virginia University and its football program…if you know what I mean, and I think you do (check out the name of the stadium)

Mildred Savage (October 7, 92) – American author best known for her 1958 best seller Parrish

David Hess (October 8, 75) – Actor, singer and songwriter whose film credits include Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left and Swamp Thing; among the hits he penned were I Got Stung (Elvis), Start Movin’ [In My Direction] (Sal Mineo) and this Pat Boone moldy oldie:

Shirley Prestia (October 8, age not specified) – Film and television actress who had recurring roles on such sitcoms as Home Improvement and Dharma & Greg, her film credits include Pandemonium, Final Analysis, Species and Leave it to Beaver

Mikey Welsh (October 8, 40) – Artist and one-time bass player for the rock group Weezer

Roger Williams (October 8, 87) – Musician and pianist who scored a #1 instrumental hit with Autumn Leaves in 1955; his other hits include Born Free, The Impossible Dream and Yellow Bird

Ray Aranha (October 9, 72) – Playwright, stage director and film/TV actor who appeared on such series as Married People and The Heights; his films include Dead Man Walking, Deconstructing Harry and Maid in Manhattan

Bill Brown (October 9, 69) – Longtime disc jockey who worked for New York oldies station WCBS-FM

Mark Kingston (October 9, 77) – British stage, screen and television character actor best known for his roles on the sitcoms Beryl’s Lot and No Job for a Lady; his film credits include Saint Jack, Sphinx and Give My Regards to Broad Street

Ray Aghayan (October 10, 83) – Stage, screen and television costume designer whose film credits include The Art of Love, Our Man Flint, Doctor Dolittle, Lady Sings the Blues and Funny Lady

George "Mojo" Buford (October 11, 81) – Blues singer-musician who played harmonica for Muddy Waters

Harold Davison (October 11, 89) – Music impresario once married to Marion Ryan (“The Marilyn Monroe of popular song”) and who brought the Rolling Stones and the Dave Clark Five to the U.S. in the 1960s

Freddie Gruber (October 11, 84) – American jazz drummer and instructor

Patricia Breslin (October 12, 80) – Film and television actress best remembered—before marrying NFL team owner Art Modell—for her roles on TV’s The People’s Choice (as Jackie Cooper’s girlfriend-then-wife), Peyton Place and General Hospital; her film credits include the William Castle films Homicidal and I Saw What You Did

Joel “Taz” DiGregorio (October 12, 67) – Longtime keyboardist for the Charlie Daniels Band

Peter Hammond (October 12, 87) – British film and TV actor (he was Peter Hawtrey in The Huggetts films and co-starred on The Buccaneers) who later turned to directing, helming such series as The Avengers, Tales of the Unexpected and Inspector Morse

Paul Leka (October 12, 70) – Songwriter and pianist who co-wrote the “sports anthem” Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye and this one-hit wonder for the Lemon Pipers:

Vic Miles (October 12, 79) – Longtime reporter/anchorman for New York’s WCBS-TV

Sheila Allen (October 13, 78) – British stage, screen and television actress whose credits include Children of the Damned, Love Actually and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; best remembered for her role as Cassie Manson on the TV series Bouquet of Barbed Wire and Another Bouquet

Barbara Kent (October 13, 103) – Canadian motion picture actress considered one of the last surviving silent film stars; her credits include Flesh and the Devil, The Drop Kick, No Man’s Land, Welcome Danger and Feet First

Margaret Draper (October 14, 94) – Film, radio and television actress who plied her trade on many soap operas including Brighter Day, Ma Perkins and Pepper Young’s Family; her TV credits include Robert Montgomery Presents, Lights Out and Inner Sanctum

Chuck Ruff (October 14, 60) – Rock ‘n’ roll drummer who served stints playing for the Edgar Winter Group and Sammy Hagar

Allan A. Buckhantz (date and age uncertain) – Film and television director whose major boob tube contribution was helming episodes of Matinee Theater, a live daytime drama that premiered on NBC in 1955 and which unfortunately has had only a few installments survive (an obit is available at Stephen Bowie’s Classic TV History Blog)

Betty Driver (October 15, 91) – British film and television actress who was best known as barmaid Betty Williams on the long-running ITV soap opera Coronation Street

Sue Mengers (October 15, 79) – Hollywood über agent whose clients included Steve McQueen and Barbra Streisand; the character played by Dyan Cannon in the 1973 movie mystery The Last of Sheila is said to have been based on Mengers

Pete Rugolo (October 16, 95) – Jazz composer and arranger who worked with such artists as Stan Kenton—but lives on here at TDOY as the man responsible for the theme songs and incidental music to such TV series as The Thin Man, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Felony Squad and The Fugitive

Bob Brunning (October 18, 68) – British blues bassist who was one of the early members of Fleetwood Mac

Norman Corwin (October 18, 101) – Radio’s “poet laureate”; one of the medium’s finest writer-director-producers whose legendary productions include The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, We Hold These Truths and On a Note of Triumph

Earl Gilliam (October 19, 81) – Houston, TX blues great

Rodney Sheldon (October 19, 70) – Former gag writer for Bob Hope and Eddie Cantor who became a screenwriter-producer with credits like To Kill the King, The Black Pearl, Thaddeus Rose and Eddie and Deadly Illusion

Dennis Hall (October 20, 54) – Film and television camera operator-cinematographer whose TV credits include Diagnosis Murder, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The X-Files; he suffered a heart attack while working on his latest gig on USA’s Common Law

Sue Lloyd (October 20, 72) – British stage, screen and television actress whose best-known film credits include The Ipcress File, The Stud and The Bitch; co-starred on the 1966-67 series The Baron as well as such shows as His and Hers, The Two Ronnies and Crossroads

Freddie Ferrara (October 21, 71) – R&B singer-musician who sang with The Del-Satins (the backup group on many of Dion DiMucci’s hits) and the Brooklyn Bridge (Worst That Could Happen)

Robert Pierpoint (October 22, 86) – Emmy Award-winning veteran CBS newsman-journalist whose daughter announced would be buried in a pair of tennis shorts—a reference to a legendary incident where Pierpoint had to cancel a tennis date and do a report on the White House lawn still wearing his tennis regalia from the waist down

Gene Kurtz (October 23, 69) – Bass player and songwriter who was best known for co-writing the 1965 Roy Head hit Treat Her Right

Tommy Doss (October 25, 90) – Former member of the Sons of the Pioneers whose film credits include Rio Grande, The Searchers and The Saga of Windwagon Smith

Norrie Woodhall (October 25, 105) – British stage actress who, until the time of her death, was the last surviving member of author Thomas Hardy’s original Hardy Players; Woodhall’s mother was the inspiration for Tess of the d’Urbanvilles

Daniel Burke (October 26, 82) – American TV executive who became president of ABC when the network was acquired by Capital Cities in 1986 and served in that capacity until 1994

Woody O’Hara (October 26, 70) – Sports commentator-announcer and right-hand-man in the booth to the legendary Jack Fleming, “the Voice of the Mountaineers”; I spent many a Saturday afternoon listening to Jack and Woody call a WVU game in my unofficial capacity of “keg tender” at my buddy Dennis’ tailgating parties

T. Max Graham (October 27, 70) – Film and television character actor who played “The Boss” (as Neil Moran) in the 1977 cult classic Eraserhead; his other credits include Sometimes They Come Back, Article 99 and Ride With the Devil (1999 version)

Bill Hale (October 29, 90) – Film and TV character actor and brother of motion picture cowboy legend Monte Hale, who appeared in such B-picture oaters as Law of the Golden West and Raiders of Tomahawk Creek; also had roles in The Red Badge of Courage, Giant, 3:10 to Yuma and Coming Home

Sir Jimmy Savile (October 29, 84) – British disc jockey and TV personality best known for his show Jim’ll Fix It (and as occasional host of Top of the Pops)

Bob Barry, Sr. (October 30, 80) – Oklahoma radio/television announcer and sports anchor best known for his long association as play-by-play man for the University of Oklahoma’s football broadcasts

Tom Keith (October 30, 64) – Minnesota Public Radio personality who was Garrison Keillor’s engineer in Keillor’s early days and then became an actor and sounds effects artist on the popular Prairie Home Companion

And from The Hollywood Reporter, a report that film and television director Gilbert Cates—famous for putting on the Academy Awards telecasts in addition to credits such as I Never Sang For My Father and Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams—was discovered dead in a parking lot at UCLA at the age of 77.

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