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Archive for the ‘Condolences’ Category

carrie-and-debbie

To many out there, Carrie Fisher is, and always will be, Princess Leia Organa, member of the Rebellion and General in the Resistance. She’s Leia to me (and will be for all time), but that was not where I first met Carrie Fisher.

As a young girl, impressionable and naive, there were few bands that were “kid” appropriate for long drives across California, or through Illinois and the Midwest. But there was Paul Simon. It wasn’t just “Graceland” that defined the days in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the entire collective works. I was introduced to “Heart and Bones” about “one and one-half wandering Jews” and being curious, I learned that Carrie Fisher was the one-half Jew of the song.

From that point on, I have one thing in common with her. It was curious to me to know that a woman who was the child of celebrities found herself intertwined with other celebrities. And she sounded conflicted and determined in the song, even if I knew the relationship didn’t last.

But she was there and she inspired a heartfelt song.

A few years later, as a teen When Harry Met Sally entered my lexicon. It was grown-up (“I’ll have what she’s having” and that scene probably was my first introduction to the concept of an orgasm) and it was not just Harry and Sally that I fell in love with, but with Jess and Marie.

Marie is a supportive, strong friend, who manages to get her friend the best (and gets the best for herself too). Sure, Marie is complicated – no qualms about dating a married man – but she is the support for Sally in good times and bad.

Even if When Harry Met Sally is about Harry and Sally, Marie (and Fisher) steal the show in quiet ways.

Here – fighting over a wagon wheel coffee table – Marie is herself and still funny. (Others have already pointed out how good Marie’s lines are.)

This is the Carrie Fisher I want to remember. Strong, funny, complicated.

debbie-and-carrie

PS: While Carrie Fisher is symbolic for Hollywood, so too is her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Reynolds dying just a day and a half after her daughter is heartbreaking and I wish the Reynolds, Fisher and Lourd families well.

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The following industry personalities (listed in alphabetical order) passed away in 2016 and heartfelt condolences are extended to their families, friends and fans:

Mohammad Ali (Boxing Legend)
René Angélil (Music Impresario and Céline Dion’s husband)

Kenny Baker (The Man Behind R2-D2 in “Star Wars”)
David Bowie (Legendary Singer)
Dave Brubeck (Legendary Jazz Musician)

Charmain Carr (Actress, “Liesl” from The Sound of Music)
Fidel Castro (Revolutionary leader and Cuba’s former President)
William Christopher (Actor, “Father Mulcahy” on M*A*S*H*)
Chyna (Former WWE Wrestler)
Leonard Cohen (Singer-Songwriter, Poet and Novelist)
Natalie Cole (Singer)
Pat Conroy (Author, “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini”)

Gloria DeHaven (Actress from Golden Age of Hollywood)
Daniel Dion (Celine Dion’s brother)
Jerry Doyle (Actor, “Babylon 5”)
Larry Drake (Actor, “L.A. Law”)
Patty Duke (Legendary Actress)

Ronnie Claire Edwards (Actress, “The Waltons”)

Joey Feek (Country Singer from Duo Joey + Rory)
Fyvush Finkel (Actor, “Picket Fences” and “Boston Public”)
Carrie Fisher (Actress, Princess Leia in Star Wars franchise)
Tommy Ford (Actor “Martin” and “The Parkers”)
Bernard Fox (Veteran Actor)
Glenn Fry (Guitarist and Singer “The Eagles”)

Zsa Zsa Gabor (Veteran Actress)
Michael Galeota (Disney Star) [he was only 31]
George Gaynes (Character Actor, “Punky Brewster,” “Tootsie” and “Police Academy”)
David Gest (Music Producer)
Gary Glasberg (NCIS Showrunner)
Ron Glass (Actor, “Barney Miller” and “Firefly”)
John Glenn (Former Astronaut and U.S. Senator)
Christina Grimmie (“The Voice” Competitor) [She was only 22]
Reg Grundy (Australian Media Mogul)

Merle Haggard (Country Music Legend)
Dan Haggerty (Actor, “Grizzly Adams”)
Earl Hamner (Creator of “The Waltons”)
Curtis Hanson (Director, “L.A. Confidential”)
Pat Harrington (Actor, “One Day at a Time”)
Florence Henderson (Actress, “The Brady Bunch”)
Steven Hill (Actor, “Law & Order” and original TV series “Mission: Impossible”)
Arthur Hiller (Director, “Love Story)
Robert Horton (Actor, “Wagon Train”)
Ken Howard (SAG-AFTRA President and Former Actor “White Shadow”)
Gordie Howe (Hockey Legend)
Beth Howland (Actress, “Alice”)
David Huddleston (Veteran Character Actor, “The Big Lebowski”)

Barry Jenner (Actor, “Family Matters” and “Dallas”)

Paul Kantner (Founding Member of Jefferson Airplane)
George Kennedy (Veteran Actor, “Airport”)

Harper Lee (Author, “To Kill a Mockingbird”)
Ron Lester (Actor, “Popular” and “Varsity Blues”)

Jerry Maren (Actor, “Wizard of Oz”) [the last of the Munchkins]
David Margulies (Actor, “Ghostbusters”]
Garry Marshall (Legendary Director)
George Martin (Beatles Producer)
Joseph Mascolo (Veteran Actor, “Days of Our Lives”)
Michael Massee (Actor, “The Crow” and “24”)
John McLaughlin (Host, “The McLaughlin Group”)
George Michael (Singer)

Noel Neill (Actress, the original Lois Lane from the 1950’s “Superman” TV series)
Agnes Nixon (Creator of All My Children and One Life to Live)
Marni Nixon (“Ghost Singer” for Deborah Kerr in The King and I; Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn in Fair Lady)
James Noble (Actor, “Benson”)
Bill Nunn (Character Actor, “Do the Right Thing”)

Hugh O’Brian (Veteran Actor, “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp”)

Arnold Palmer (Golf Legend)
Jon Polito (Character Actor “The Big Lebowski” and “Miller’s Crossing”)
Prince (Legendary Musician, Singer and Songwriter)

Nancy Reagan (Former First Lady)
Janet Reno (First Female U.S. Attorney General)
Debbie Reynolds (Legendary Actress)
Alan Rickman (Veteran Actor)
Jack Riley (Actor, “The Bob Newhart Show”)
Doris Roberts (Veteran Actress)

Morley Safer (Legendary “60 Minutes” Reporter)
Theresa Saldana (Actress, “Raging Bull”)
Joe Santos (Actor, “Rockford Files”)
John Saunders (ESPN Commentator)
Antonin Scalia (Supreme Court Justice)
William Schallert (Veteran Actor and Former SAG President)
Garry Shandling (Actor and Comedian)
Jim Simpson (Sportscaster)
Frank Sinatra, Jr.
David Smyrl (Actor, “Sesame Street”)

Alan Thicke (Actor, “Growing Pains”)
Grant Tinker (Former NBC Chairman-CEO and Founder of MTM Enterprises)

Vanity (aka Denise Katrina Matthews) (Lead singer of 80’s girl group Vanity 6)
Peter Vaughan (Veteran Actor, “Game of Thrones”)
Robert Vaughn (Actor, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”)
Abe Vigoda (Actor, “Barney Miller”)

Janet Waldo (Voice actress for Judy Jetson from “The Jetsons”)
Tom Whedon (Father of Joss Whedon)
Maurice White (Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire)
Elie Wiesel (Nobel Prize-Winning Author)
Gene Wilder (Veteran Actor, “Willy Wonka” and “Young Frankenstein”)
Van Williams (Actor, “The Green Hornet”)

Anton Yelchin (Actor, “Star Trek”) [He was only 27]
Alan Young (Veteran Actor, “Mister Ed” Star)

NOTE: This list, in no way, covers all the industry talent who passed away this year. Again, condolences are extended to one and all.

Out of respect, please take a moment of silence.

TOMORROW: Ratings

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arnold-palmer

Sunday evening, one of America’s great golf ambassadors, Arnold Palmer, passed away. He was the driving force for golf in America in the 1960s, shaping how and when Americans watched and cared for golf as a sport.

My life has been shaped by golf from a young age. My father is an avid golfer, albeit a golfer with a twenty handicap. But, he loves the sport and he wanted me to love it too. It was one of those constants: if there was a major tournament that weekend, there would be golf on one television.

Looking back now, golf wouldn’t have been the staple of my house without Arnold Palmer and his passion and skill. Between the late 1950s and early 1960s, Palmer won numerous tournaments with class and flare. He made golf exciting, he made it look like something that could appeal to everyman.

Two of golf’s other ambassadors, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, were fans of Palmer’s style and grace of the game. They followed in Palmer’s footsteps, creating a game that mattered to hundreds of people.

His death, complications from heart problems, will leave a hole in the golf world. The world that lives and dies on birdie puts, the lip of the cup foiling the perfect shot on the green, and the long drive that lands in the middle of the green.

To say that Palmer had a lasting impact on the game of gold is an understatement. Television, sports television especially, thrive on excitement, great runs and dramatic finishes. Palmer provided all of those and more, returning to tournaments as recently as this summer, reminding all the fans that he still cared about the game and his role in it.

Sunday wasn’t just the day we lost a gold legend, but we also lost one great man.

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