Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Book of Life

Every time there’s any kind of award show there is, at some point, an ‘in memoriam.’ And it always makes me cry. This week is Holiest holiday in the Jewish religion. It is Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur –the week God decides whether or not you will be written into the Book of Life for the next year. It is a time when we reflect about those people who have died. For the last few months there have been an extraordinary number of passing of dear friends like Anne Wexler and Jody Powell, and those I never met.

In honor of those people and the Jewish New Year I would like to share some names with you and let you reflect on what they brought to your lives. La Shana Tova my friends. May you have a sweet and healthy New Year and thanks for sticking with us another year.

Natasha Richardson (actress) -- Dead. Following a head injury suffered during a skiing accident. Died March 18, 2009. Born May 11, 1963. Tony-winning actress (for the 1998 revival of Caberet), starred in The Handmaid's Tale, appeared with her mother Vanessa Redgrave in Evening, was married to Liam Neeson for nearly 15 years. Make memorial contributions to: amfAR - The Foundation for AIDS Research

"England" Dan Seals (singer) -- Dead. Lymphoma. Died March 25, 2009. Born February 8, 1948. Part of the duo England Dan and John Ford Coley, best-known for "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight".

Irving R. Levine (newscaster) -- Dead. Died March 26, 2009. Born August 26, 1922. NBC newscaster for 45 years.

Maurice Jarre (composer) -- Dead. Died March 29, 2009. Born September 13, 1924. Won Oscars for the scores for A Passage to India, Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, also scored Ghost and Witness.

Dave Arneson (game creator/teacher) -- Dead. Cancer. Died April 7, 2009. Born October 1, 1947. Co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons with Gary Gygax.

Marilyn Chambers (model/adult star) -- Dead. Died April 12, 2009. Born April 22, 1952. Appeared on the Ivory Snow detergent box in the early '70s before starring in the porn classic Behind the Green Door, was married to Linda Lovelace's ex-husband for a while.

Bea Arthur (actress) -- Dead. Cancer. Died April 25, 2009. Born May 13, 1923. Maude, The Golden Girls.

Marilyn French (writer) -- Dead. Died May 2, 2009. Born November 21, 1929. The Women's Room

Dom DeLuise (comic actor/cook) -- Dead. Died May 4, 2009. Born August 1, 1933. Blazing Saddles.

David Carradine (actor) -- Dead. Reported asphyxiation. Died June 3, 2009. Born December 8, 1936. Kill Bill, Kung Fu, many other TV Westerns, and a surprising number of movie bit parts in the years before he died.

John Houghtaling (inventor) -- Dead. Complications of a fall. Died June 17, 2009. Born November 14, 1916. Invented "The Magic Fingers," a coin-operated vibrating bed later installed in motels across America during the '50s and '60s.

Ed McMahon (announcer) -- Dead. Pneumonia/cancer. Died June 23, 2009. Born March 6, 1923. The Tonight Show announcer during the Carson years, famous for greeting him with "Heeeeeeeeeeeere's Johnnny!", later, a spokesperson for American Family Publishing.

Farrah Fawcett (actress/model) -- Dead. Cancer. Died June 25, 2009. Born February 2, 1947. Charlie's Angels, subject of a huge poster craze in the '70s, many made-for-TV movies, longtime companion of Ryan O'Neal, ex-wife of Lee Majors.

Michael Jackson (singer/songwriter) -- Dead. Cardiac arrest. Died June 25, 2009. Born August 29, 1958. Wildly eccentric performer, youngest member of the Jackson 5, major pop icon of the '80s ("Thriller", "Billie Jean"), married briefly to Lisa Marie Presley, acquitted child molester.

Gale Storm (actress) -- Dead. Died June 27, 2009. Born April 5, 1922. My Little Margie, The Gale Storm Show; her autobiography was called I Ain't Down Yet.

Billy Mays (pitchman) -- Dead. Heart disease. Died June 28, 2009. Born July 20, 1958. The spokesguy for OrangeGlo, Oxiclean and dozens of other products, starred in cable's Pitchmen.

Harve Presnell (actor/singer) -- Dead. Pancreatic cancer. Died June 30, 2009. Born September 14, 1933. The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Jan Rubes (actor) -- Dead. Died June 30, 2009. Born June 6, 1920. The grandfather in Witness

Karl Malden (actor) -- Dead. Died July 1, 2009. Born March 22, 1912. On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Streets of San Francisco and many commercials for American Express.

Robert McNamara (secretary of defense, war criminal) -- . Died July 6, 2009. Born June 9, 1916. Secretary of Defense during the Viet Nam war, subject of A Fog of War.

Walter Cronkite (newscaster) -- Died July 17, 2009. Born November 4, 1916. Longtime CBS evening newscaster, worked on reporting the Kennedy assassination and the first moonlanding.

Frank McCourt (Writer/teacher) -- Dead. Meningitis. Died July 19, 2009. Born August 19, 1930. Angela's Ashes

Corazon Aquino (Former Phillipine president) -- Dead. Colon cancer. Died August 1, 2009. Born January 25, 1933. Became the first woman president of the Phillipines after the assassination of her husband, Benigno Aquino.

John Hughes (writer/director) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died August 6, 2009. Born February 18, 1950. Wrote/directed Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, retired from Hollywood youngish to be a farmer.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver (philanthropist) -- Dead. Died August 11, 2009. Born July 10, 1921. Founded the Special Olympics, Maria Shriver's mother.

Les Paul (guitar legend/inventor) -- Dead. Died August 13, 2009. Born June 9, 1915. Invented the electric guitar, had a TV show in the '50s, performed into his 90s, inducted into multiple musical halls of fame.

Don Hewitt (TV news producer/director) -- Dead. Pancreatic cancer. Died August 19, 2009. Born December 14, 1922. Creator/producer of 60 Minutes, produced shows for Edward R. Murrow, director of the 1960 presidential debates, author of Tell Me a Story.

Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy (politician) -- Dead. Brain cancer. Died August 25, 2009. Born February 22, 1932. Last surviving Kennedy brother, served in the Senate for many years, often fighting for improved health care, ran for President, involved in a car accident that killed a volunteer in 1969.

Dominick Dunne (writer/celebrity watcher) -- Dead. Bladder cancer. Died August 26, 2009. Born October 29, 1925. Novelist (The Two Mrs. Grenvilles, A Murder in Connecticut) who became an obsessive trial-commentator after the murder of his daughter, Dominique, father of actor/director Griffin Dunne.

Ellie Greenwich (songwriter) -- Dead. Heart attack. Died August 26, 2009. Born October 23, 1940. With her ex-husband Jeff Barry, she co-wrote classic songs like "Leader of the Pack", "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Chapel of Love".

Sheila Lukins (chef/food writer) -- Dead. Brain cancer. Died August 30, 2009. Born circa 1942. Creator of The Silver Palate shop, a series of Silver Palate cookbooks (with Julee Ross

Eunice Kennedy Shriver (philanthropist) -- Dead. Died August 11, 2009. Born July 10, 1921. Founded the Special Olympics, Maria Shriver's mother. IMDb Obituary

Les Paul (guitar legend/inventor) -- Dead. Died August 13, 2009. Born June 9, 1915. Invented the electric guitar, had a TV show in the '50s, performed into his 90s, inducted into multiple musical halls of fame.
And in September 2009

Mary Travers, folk singer, war protestor. Part of the famous trio, Peter, Paul and Mary..

Henry Gibson, Comedian. Best know for his dirty old man on the wonderful entertainment show “Laugh In”.

Jody Powell, Press Secretary to President Carter. They met at a shopping center, Jody became his chauffeur when Carter was Governor, and went on to be the White House Press Secretary, a lobbyist and an all around great guy.

Patrick Swayze, Actor, dancer, delightful person. Best known for his roles in “Dirty Dancing” and “Ghost”.

How sad to have lost so many superstars in so many different professions during the last six months. I will remember how they enriched my life and will hope that there is an afterlife in which they can continue to entertain one another.


Anonymous said...

Robert McNamara (secretary of defense, war criminal)
I like the matter of fact-ness of that statement....
Also you have Kennedy on there twice.

Retired Belles Dad said...

Just one question concerning the folks that made your list: Marilyn Chambers was jewish?

Other than that, how y'all been?