RIP Sherwood Schwartz

I was truly saddened to hear this afternoon that the creative mind behind several of the favorite shows from my youth had passed away. Sherwood Schwartz (no relation), the creator of such classics as the Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island died in his sleep at the ripe old age of 94.

Sherwood Schwartz, writer-creator of two of the best-remembered TV series of the 1960s and 1970s, “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Brady Bunch,” has died at age 94.

Great niece Robin Randall said Schwartz died at 4 a.m. Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was being treated for an intestinal infection and underwent several surgeries. His wife, Mildred, and children had been at his side.

Goodbye Sherwood, thanks for the hours of enjoyment you provided me in my youth. And to honor his passing, I think it only fitting that we answer the age old question…Ginger or Mary Ann?

Mary Ann of course!

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Ted Kennedy Dead At 77

Edward (Ted) Kennedy joined Mary Jo Kopechne when he passed away from brain cancer last night at 77.

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” a family statement said. “We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice.”

President Obama learned about Kennedy’s death at 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to a senior administration official. Obama later called Kennedy’s widow to offer condolences.

In a statement, Obama says: “An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.”

The death of one of the champions of the current heath care debate also marks the end of the Kennedy dynasty in American politics. Rest in peace

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RIP Billy Mays

This has been a rough week for the famous even surpassing the old adage that they die in threes as the news has broken that obnoxious TV pitchman Billy Mays has died this morning in Florida at the age of 50.

Mays, 50, was found unresponsive by his wife inside his Tampa, Fla., home at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Police said there were no signs of forced entry to Mays’ residence and foul play is not suspected. Authorities said an autopsy should be complete by Monday afternoon.

Mays joins Ed McMahon, Farrah Faucett, and Michael Jackson, who died earlier this week. Our TV commercials will never be the same, or as loud.

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Sad On So Many Levels

Sad not only because of the news of her untimely death at 57, but also that she was living in a trailer park at the time of her passing.

Marilyn Chambers, star of such golden age classics as Behind the Green Door and Insatiable, was found dead Sunday in the mobile home where she had been living for the past several months. She was 57. Chambers was found by her daughter, McKenna. No cause of death is yet known, and an autopsy will be performed.

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Danger Will Robinson!

Bob May and his alter ego
Bob May and his alter ego

You may not recognize the name Bob May but anyone of my generation will certainly remember the 60’s TV show “Lost in Space”. May, the actor who donned the robot suit for 83 episodes between 1965 and 1968 died yesterday of congestive heart failure at 69.

He was a veteran actor and stuntman who had appeared in movies, TV shows and on the vaudeville stage when he was tapped by “Lost in Space” creator Irwin Allen to play the Robinson family’s loyal metal sidekick in the series that debuted in 1965.

“He always said he got the job because he fit in the robot suit,” said June Lockhart, who played family matriarch Maureen Robinson. “It was one of those wonderful Hollywood stories. He just happened to be on the studio lot when someone saw him and sent him to see Irwin Allen about the part. Allen said, ’If you can fit in the suit, you’ve got the job.”’

Although May didn’t provide the robot’s distinctive voice (that was done by announcer Dick Tufeld), he developed a following of fans who sought him out at memorabilia shows.

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Paul Newman RIP

Another of America’s great actors has passed away. News reports are coming out that Paul Newman has died at 83.

Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as the anti-hero of such films as “Hud,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Color of Money”—and as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario—has died. He was 83.

Newman died Friday after a long battle with cancer at his farmhouse near Westport, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.

You will be missed.

“What we have here, is a failure to communicate” – Cool Hand Luke

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They Come In Threes? Isaac Hayes Dead At 65

The man that many of today’s generation will recognize as “Chef” from South Park and whom I associate mainly as the “Duke of New York” from the classic 1981 movie “Escape from New York” and as the writer and performer of the soundtrack for the blaxploitation film “Shaft” has died at age 65.

Isaac Hayes, the pioneering singer, songwriter and musician whose relentless “Theme From Shaft” won Academy and Grammy awards, died Sunday afternoon, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said. He was 65.
A family member found him unresponsive near a treadmill and he was pronounced dead an hour later at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, according to the sheriff’s office. The cause of  death was not immediately known.

Hayes’ death comes right on the heels of the death yesterday of entertainer Bernie Mac making up 2/3rd’s of the death comes in three’s prophecy so if you don’t hear from me….Just kidding. Isaac, you will be missed.

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Bernie Mac Dies At 50

Popular actor and comedian Bernie Mac died this morning at age 50 of complications from pneumonia.

“Actor/comedian Bernie Mac passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital,” his publicist, Danica Smith, said in a statement from Los Angeles.

She said no other details were available and asked that his family’s privacy be respected.

The comedian suffered from sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that produces tiny lumps of cells in the body’s organs, but had said the condition went into remission in 2005. He recently was hospitalized and treated for pneumonia, which his publicist said was not related to the disease.

As I approach my 44th birthday in just under 2 months, I am again reminded of how fragile life is no matter how old or young your are.

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Jesse Helms Dead At 86

While you may or may not be seeing numerous tributes to the 5 term Senator from North Carolina who died early this morning, Americablog reminds us about some of the lowlights from the man that President Bush once called an “institution”. Suffice it to say tolerance wasn’t one of his stronger attributes as evident by this somewhat candy coated quote from CNN.

Helms was known as “Senator No” for his staunch opposition to an array of liberal causes, including affirmative action, funding for the arts, gay rights, and a holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

While today is a day to remember a man who gave 30 years of service to his state and the nation, it should also be tempered by the faults that made him who he was.

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