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Celebrity Obituaries

Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:21 am

Legendary Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian dies at age 94



Ara Parseghian - Part 1: The early years

Ara Parseghian - Part 1: The early years

Ara Parseghian - Part 2: Notre Dame

Ara Parseghian - Part 3: Fighting for a cure

Legendary Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian dies at 94

By Michelle Beck, Angelo Di Carlo | Posted: Wed 8:16 AM, Aug 02, 2017 | Updated: Wed 7:02 PM, Aug 02, 2017

Granger, Ind. (WNDU) -- Legendary former Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian died early Wednesday morning at his Granger home.

The 94-year-old National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame coach led the university's 1966 and 1973 national championship teams.

He retired after 11 seasons but stayed in Michiana, going into private business.

A Mass and Celebration of the Life of Ara Parseghian will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. The University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will preside. A memorial celebration will follow the funeral at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. Family members and former players and colleagues will speak.

The public is invited to both the Mass and memorial.

Parseghian recently returned home after spending time at a nursing facility due to an infection in his surgically repaired hip.

“Notre Dame mourns the loss of a legendary football coach, a beloved member of the Notre Dame family and good man – Ara Parseghian," University President Father John Jenkins said in a statement. "Among his many accomplishments, we will remember him above all as a teacher, leader and mentor who brought out the very best in his players, on and off the field. He continued to demonstrate that leadership by raising millions of research dollars seeking a cure for the terrible disease that took the lives of three of his grandchildren. Whenever we asked for Ara’s help at Notre Dame, he was there. My prayers are with Katie, his family and many friends as we mourn his passing and celebrate a life that was so well lived.”

Parseghian was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1980 and had a 95-17-4 record over his 11 seasons with the Irish.

“As a student, I enjoyed the thrill of being on campus for Ara’s last three years as head coach, including the 1973 championship, and saw firsthand the profound impact that he had on my classmates who played for him,” said Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame Director of Athletics in a release. “When I returned many years later as athletics director, Ara was unfailingly generous with his time, and his counsel proved to be invaluable.”

In November of 1994, Ara and his family faced a battle much larger than any on the gridiron. He learned that three of his four grandchildren had a mysterious disease called Niemann-Pick Type C.

He formed The Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, which seeks a cure.

His goal was to raise $1 million to help fund research for a cure for Niemann-Pick Type C. While he couldn’t save his grandchildren, great progress has been made since that time. The foundation has now raised $45 million, and there are 75 laboratories worldwide working on a cure.

In a conversation with NewsCenter 16's Maureen McFadden in 2009, Ara used a football analogy to explain how far the foundation has come.

"We wound up with the ball on our own one-foot line with the goal 99 and two thirds away when we found out about Niemann-Pick. With our research, our investigative work, we pushed that ball out to the 30-, 40-yard line. We're in the four down area now," Ara explained.

Ara died knowing that an important clinical trial started in March of this year. It involves a drug that is showing great promise for those with Niemann-Pick Type C.

A Mass for the Feast of the Transfiguration and Celebration of the Life of Ara Parseghian will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 6) at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. The University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will preside.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund at Notre Dame.

You can read more from the university about Parseghian's life and death at this link. ... 65623.html
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Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:06 pm

Glen Campbell, 'Rhinestone Cowboy' Singer Who Fused Country and Pop, Dead at 81
Singer-guitarist and TV host who achieved crossover success succumbs to Alzheimer's disease





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Glen Campbell, the indelible voice behind 21 Top 40 hits including "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," died Tuesday. He was 81. A rep for Universal Music Group, Campbell's record label, confirmed the singer's death to Rolling Stone. During a career that spanned six decades, Campbell sold over 45 million records. In 1968, one of his biggest years, he outsold the Beatles.


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"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease," the singer's family said in a statement.
Campbell was a rare breed in the music business, with various careers as a top-level studio guitarist, chart-topping singer and hit television host. His late-career battle with Alzheimer's - he allowed a documentary crew to film on his final tour for the 2014 award-winning I'll Be Me - made him a public face for the disease, a role President Bill Clinton suggested would one day be remembered even more than his music.

"He had that beautiful tenor with a crystal-clear guitar sound, playing lines that were so inventive," Tom Petty told Rolling Stone during a 2011 profile of Campbell. "It moved me."

Campbell was born in 1936 in Billstown, Arkansas, the seventh son in a sharecropping family of 12 kids. "We used to watch TV by candlelight," Campbell told Rolling Stone in 2011.

In his youth, Campbell started playing guitar and became obsessed with jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. He dropped out of school when he was 14 and moved to Wyoming with an uncle who was a musician, playing gigs together at rural bars. He soon moved to Los Angeles and by 1962 had solidified a spot in the Wrecking Crew, a group of session pros. In 1963 alone, he appeared on 586 cuts and countless more throughout the decade, including the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas,” Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling."

"I’d have to pick cotton for a year to make what I'd make in a week in L.A.," he said. "I learned it was crucial to play right on the edge of the beat ... It makes you drive the song more. You're ahead of the beat, but you're not." Fellow Wrecking Crew member Leon Russell called Campbell "the best guitar player I'd heard before or since. Occasionally we'd play with 50- or 60-piece orchestras. His deal was he didn't read [music], so they would play it one time for him, and he had it."

In late 1964, Brian Wilson had a nervous breakdown on tour with the Beach Boys, and the band called on Campbell to replace him on bass and high harmonies. "I took Brian's place and that was just ... I was in heaven then – hog heaven!" Campbell remarked.

"He fit right in," said Wilson. "His main forte is he's a great guitar player, but he's even a better singer than all the rest. He could sing higher than I could!" Wilson even wrote an early song, "I Guess I'm Dumb," for Campbell. His first hit was a cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie's antiwar song "Universal Soldier." But Campbell's own political views tended to be conservative. "The people who are advocating burning draft cards should be hung," he said in 1965.

Campbell had his first major hit in 1967, with "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," written by Jimmy Webb, an L.A. kid with a knack for intricate ballads. "Glen's vocal power and technique was the perfect vehicle for these, in a way, very sentimental and romantic songs. And I think that you know we made some records that were very nearly perfect. 'Wichita Lineman' is a very near perfect pop record," Webb said. "I think in the process that Glen was a prime mover in the whole creation of the country crossover phenomenon that made the careers of Kenny Rogers and some other... many other artists possible."

The tune kicked off a working relationship that included the haunting Vietnam War ballad "Galveston," the tender "Gentle on My Mind" and "Wichita Lineman," Campbell's first Top 10 hit. With swelling orchestral arrangements and slick production, the songs weren't exactly considered hip in the Sixties. "They felt packaged for a middle-of-the-road, older crowd," said Tom Petty. "At first, you go, 'Oh, I don't know about that.' But it was such pure, good stuff that you had to put off your prejudices and learn to love it. It taught me not to have those prejudices." In 1968, Campbell won Grammys in both the country and pop categories, including Best Country & Western Solo Vocal Performance, Male, Best Country & Western Song and Best Vocal Performance, Male.

In the summer of 1968, Campbell guest hosted the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The successful appearance led to his own variety show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, which he hosted from 1969 until 1972. Artists like Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and Linda Ronstadt performed on the show, which also gave a national platform to rising country stars like Willie Nelson. "He exposed us to a big part of the world that would have never had the chance to see us," said Nelson. "He's always been a big help to me."

A young Steve Martin was a writer on the show. “He just went along with it," Martin said in I'll Be Me. "He was completely game, and completely fun, and had kind of a down-home sense of humor. It was just an incredible treat for us young writers to be introduced to talent at that level at such a young age.”

Campbell's boyish charisma led John Wayne to cast him in a co-starring role in 1969's True Grit. He later said that his acting was so amateurish that he "gave John Wayne that push to win the Academy Award." But the good times didn't last: His show was canceled; his first feature film, 1970's Norwood, flopped; and the hits dried up for a few years. Then, Campbell scored a smash with 1975's "Rhinestone Cowboy." It began a comeback that included hits "Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.") and "Southern Nights." The hits slowed down again in the Eighties; in the Nineties he opened up the Glen Campbell Goodtime Theatre in Branson, Missouri.

Campbell was married four times, and has five sons and three daughters. In the early 1980s, while battling alcoholism and cocaine addiction, Campbell made tabloid headlines with a 15-month, high-profile relationship with country singer Tanya Tucker, who was 22 years his junior. In 1981, he became a born-again Christian and in 1982 he married Kimberly Woollen, a Radio City Music Hall Rockette, who helped Campbell clean up his life.

In 2003, he was arrested for a hit-and-run, an incident that ended with him allegedly kneeing a police officer in the thigh right before he was released. Campbell pleaded guilty to extreme drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident, and spent 10 days in jail.

In 2011, Campbell, then 75, revealed that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. In June of that year, he announced he was retiring from music due to the disease. He released his final album of original music Ghost on the Canvas (with guests Billy Corgan, Paul Westerberg and Jakob Dylan) and embarked on a farewell tour with three of his children backing him.

He played 151 shows on his final tour. "The audience being there somehow triggers his ability to access that other part of his brain," U2's The Edge said. "It's incredible."

"This tour of his just says, 'Here I am, here’s what’s happening to me,'" Clinton said. "'I'm going out with a smile on my face and a song in my heart so you will know,' - and that may be more of his enduring legacy than all the music he made."
He spent his final years in an assisted living facility. His friends and children would often spend days with him playing him his old songs. "Music utilizes all of the brain, not just one little section of it," Woollen noted. "Everything's firing all at once. It's really stimulating and probably helped him plateau and not progress as quickly as he might have. I could tell from his spirits that it was good for him. It made him really happy. It was good for the whole family to continue touring and to just keep living our lives. And we hope it encourages other people to do the same."

Earlier this year, Campbell released Adiós, his final studio album, a collection of mainly cover songs by Bob Dylan, Harry Nilsson and others, recorded after his Goodbye Tour. "Almost every time he sat down with a guitar, these were his go-to songs," daughter Ashley Campbell told Rolling Stone Country. "They were very much engrained in his memory – like, so far back that they were one of the last things he started losing."

"He had a beautiful singing voice," Bruce Springsteen said in 2014. "Pure tone. And it was never fancy. Wasn't singing all over the place. It was simple on the surface but there was a world of emotion underneath." ... gs-w477308
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Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:10 pm

Jerry Lewis, entertainment icon and longtime host of Muscular Dystrophy Association telethons, dead at 91

Comedian Jerry Lewis has passed away. He was 91. (RICH FURY/RICH FURY/INVISION/AP)
Updated: Sunday, August 20, 2017, 2:57 PM
Love or hate Jerry Lewis, you knew he was in the room.

Lewis, who died Sunday at age of 91, turned himself into an American entertainment institution, first as a maniacal slapstick comedian and then as the 45-year host of tear-jerking annual TV telethons that raised a staggering $2.6 billion for muscular dystrophy research.

His death was confirmed in a statement tweeted by a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"Legendary entertainer Jerry Lewis passed away peacefully today of natural causes at 91 at his home w/ family by his side,” the statement read.

Celebrities react to the death of comedy legend Jerry Lewis
The Friars Club mourned the loss, saying it was “deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Abbot.”

Inside the comedy world, Lewis was revered as a genius. The 2011 Lewis documentary "Method to the Madness" featured comedians from Billy Crystal to Eddie Murphy to Chevy Chase praising his singular style of comic lunacy and pathos.

"I get paid," Lewis once said, "for what most kids get punished for."

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"If you don't get Jerry Lewis," Jerry Seinfeld said in “Method,” "you don't understand comedy."

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For American audiences, Lewis' career had three major segments: his early television, stage and movie collaboration with Dean Martin, which ended in 1956; his solo movie career, which peaked in the 1960s; and his return every Labor Day for the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, which he hosted until 2010.
Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles in September 1990. (JULIE MARKES/AP)
His tearful pleas for “Jerry's Kids" and his rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" became television signatures.

Lewis was also known throughout his career as an attentive and demanding businessman who knew the nuts and bolts of his business — though not all his projects worked out.

In 1969, he cofounded the Jerry Lewis cinemas, a chain of intimate movie theaters that initially showed only family-friendly films. While it folded a decade later, it foreshadowed the modern-day multiplex model of small theaters.

Jerry Lewis hospitalized with infection
Inside the movie industry he was known for pioneering a filmmaking process known as "video assist," which was eventually adopted by all the major studios.

But he made his most indelible mark as a comedian, with a style that featured physical comedy, prominently including facial contortions, and rapid-fire repartee.

His prominent influences included early comedians like Charlie Chaplin and vaudeville, in which his Russian immigrant parents had worked.

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A 1954 photo shows Lewis (right) with Dean Martin. (SILVER SCREEN COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES)
Lewis' dialogue often sounded improvised even when it wasn't, reflecting the style of free-form banter he developed while working on stage with Martin.

Jerry Lee Lewis reportedly sues daughter for alleged abuse
The two met in 1945, when Martin was a rising nightclub singer and Lewis a comic who specialized in zany lip-synching to recorded music.

They formed an act in 1946, with Lewis as the wise guy and Martin as the straight man.

Team comedy was a popular shtik from vaudeville, but Martin and Lewis distinguished themselves by often breaking away from traditional scripted sketches.

Their improv could occasionally run out of control. A notorious pirated recording that surreptitiously circulated for years had the two swapping increasingly explicit obscenities.

They became stars on the nightclub circuit, reportedly earning $30,000 a week at the Copa. They also moved from radio to television variety shows to the movies, making 16 pictures for Paramount from 1949 to 1956.

These light comedies, from "My Friend Irma" to "Hollywood or Bust," made them international stars who even had their own comic book. From 1952 to 1957, DC published "The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis."

The movies eventually began featuring the expressive Lewis more than Martin, and that contributed to the friction that led to an unpleasant breakup in 1956.

Neither spoke of the split for years, though at Frank Sinatra’s urging they reconciled before Martin's death in 1995.

Asked about Martin in 2011, Lewis said, "In order for me to talk about my partner I would need some time, because he earned that. Not only the time, but the respect of the work, and the admiration and the courage, and all of the good stuff he made of me in the 10 years he was my teacher."

Frank Sinatra (center) brings Dean Martin (left) onto Jerry Lewis' annual Muscular Dystrophy telethon in 1976. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
When Lewis embarked on his solo movie career, he got a profit-sharing deal and an extensive creative leeway.

The result was Lewis character-driven movies that included "The Bellboy," "Cinderfella," "The Errand Boy," "The Family Jewels" and "The Nutty Professor."

With the exception of "The Nutty Professor," a "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" takeoff that drew widespread praise, many of his films were criticized as excessive, indulgent and juvenile.

Lewis said in 2011 that didn't bother him, "because I didn't know it. I never read negative things."

For many years it became a running joke that Lewis’ movies were more highly regarded in France than in the United States.

Lewis' American critics said that showed what the French knew about comedy, while his French defenders said it just proved Americans didn't appreciate true culture.

France's prestigious Cannes Film Festival honored Lewis in 2013, and the whole subject inspired the title for a 2001 book by Rae Beth Gordon, "Why the French Love Jerry Lewis."

He continued making and producing movies all his life. For years he taught a filmmaking class at the University of Southern California, where his students included Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

Spielberg, a Lewis fan, recalled that Lewis saw his first movie, "Amblin," in 1968 and said, “That's what a movie should look like.”

Lewis’ own movies included at least one notable misfire, “The Day the Clown Cried” in 1972. Lewis played a circus clown who is sent to a concentration camp, and it stirred such controversy it was never released. In later years Lewis said that was just as well.

He did better playing a late-night talk show host in the dark 1983 satire "King of Comedy."

In 1996 he executive-produced the remake of "The Nutty Professor" with Eddie Murphy. He went back and forth in later years whether he was pleased with the result, which he said wasn't as "perfect" as the original.

In one of Lewis’ last on-camera roles, he starred in the 2013 film "Max Rose" as an aging jazz pianist.

"I'll keep making movies as long as there are things I want to say," said Lewis in 2011.

He didn't get that option with the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, from which the MDA abruptly dismissed him after the 2010 production.

At its peak, the telethon ran 21½ hours on Labor Day, with Lewis pleading, cajoling, joking and welcoming a stream of celebrity guests, all the while standing in front of a giant toteboard with rolling donation totals.

He raised an estimated $2.6 billion for the MDA during his 45 years, and he was clearly wounded when the association decided to shorten the show and go with multiple cohosts starting in 2011.

"This is a hurt man," Lewis' friend Richard Belzer told Time magazine.

Lewis resigned from the MDA board and plans for a farewell appearance in 2011 were canceled.

But he said later that year that the telethon remained one of his proudest life achievements.

He also had multiple health issues in his own life.

He suffered at least three heart attacks, in 1960, 1982 and 2006. He suffered from prostate cancer, type 1 diabetes, and viral meningitis, for which he was hospitalized for five months in Australia in 1999.

One of his most dramatic illnesses was pulmonary fibrosis, for which he was treated with Prednisone in the early 2000s. The drug resulted in weight gain that dramatically changed his lean appearance.

He suffered a serious back injury during a comic pratfall at a club in 1965, narrowly escaping paralysis, and later admitted he became addicted to his painkiller, Percodan, for the next 13 years.

In 2012, he collapsed at a Friars Club event from hypoglycemia.

Lewis was born Joseph Levitch in Newark, N.J., on March 16, 1926. His mother was a piano player and by the time young Joseph was 5, he was joining his parents for their stage routine in the Catskills.

He soon developed his "Record Act," miming lyrics to recordings, and he dropped out of Irvington High School in the 10th grade to pursue a show business career.

He was married twice, to Patti Palmer from 1944 to 1980 and to SanDee Pitnick from 1983 until his death. He was 56 when he married Pitnick, a Las Vegas dancer who was 32.

He had six sons with Palmer, one adopted, and an adopted daughter with Pitnick.

His oldest son, Gary, became a pop music star with Gary Lewis and the Playboys in the 1960s. His youngest son, Joseph, died of a drug overdose in 2009.

Lewis hosted three TV variety shows of his own, but none were successful. He didn't succeed in getting to Broadway with a 1976 revival of "Hellzapoppin," in which he costarred with Lynn Redgrave, but he did eventually hit the Great White Way with a short 1995 run in "Damn Yankees."

He received only two major awards nominations for his ongoing work, a primetime Emmy nod in 1952 and a BAFTA nomination for "King of Comedy" in 1983.

Later he received a slew of honorary awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Comedy Awards in 1997 and a Governor's Award from the primetime Emmys in 2005.

He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2009 from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

He also had no problem appreciating his own work.

"People hate me," he once said, "because I am a multifaceted, talented, wealthy, internationally famous genius."

Asked in 2011 if he felt he had fulfilled his life destiny, he said, "Not yet, but I'm getting close. Get the cure for muscular dystrophy. Then I'm fine.

"Otherwise, I'm the happiest old man you've ever seen." ... -1.3427487
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Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:22 pm

Steely Dan co-founder, guitarist, Walter Becker dies at 67

LOS ANGELES — Walter Becker, the guitarist, bassist and co-founder of the 1970s rock group Steely Dan, which sold more than 40 million albums and produced such hit singles as "Reelin' In the Years," ?Rikki Don't Lose that Number" and "Deacon Blues" has died. He was 67.

His official website announced his death Sunday with no further details.

Donald Fagen said in a statement Sunday that his Steely Dan bandmate was not only "an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter" but also "smart as a whip," ''hysterically funny" and "cynical about human nature, including his own."

"I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band," Fagen wrote.

Although Steely Dan had been touring recently, Becker had missed performances earlier in the summer in Los Angeles and New York. Fagen later told Billboard that Becker was recovering from a procedure. Fagen said at the time he hoped that Becker would be fine soon.

Musicians were quick to mourn Becker on social media Sunday. Mark Ronson tweeted that Becker was "one half of the team I aspire to every time I sit down at a piano."

Both Ryan Adams and the band The Mountain Goats tweeted that Becker changed their lives. Slash posted a photo of Becker on Instagram, simply writing "RIP #WalterBecker".

A Queens native who started out playing the saxophone and eventually picked up the guitar, Becker met Fagen as students at Bard College in 1967 and founded the band in 1972 after they moved to California.

"We started writing nutty little tunes on an upright piano in a small sitting room in the lobby of Ward Manor, a mouldering old mansion on the Hudson River that the college used as a dorm," Fagen recalled in his statement. "We liked a lot of the same things: jazz (from the twenties through the mid-sixties), W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, science fiction, Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Berger, and Robert Altman films come to mind. Also soul music and Chicago blues."

From 1972 to about 1980, the band enjoyed both critical and commercial successes with the releases of seven studio albums, including "Pretzel Logic" and the seminal "Aja," from 1977, but broke up in 1981 after the release of "Gaucho."

Becker had suffered some personal hardships during this time, including his girlfriend's death by overdose and a resulting lawsuit, and an injury he sustained after being struck by a cab. When Steely Dan disbanded, Becker retreated to Maui and began growing avocados.

Becker eventually reunited with Fagen and, after a nearly 20 year hiatus, released two albums: "Two Against Nature," which won four Grammys, including album of the year in 2001, and "Everything Must Go."

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

"Like a lot of kids from fractured families, he had the knack of creative mimicry, reading people's hidden psychology and transforming what he saw into bubbly, incisive art," Fagen recalled. ... 07d13.html
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Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:35 pm


70 9/8/2017 1:03 PM PDT
Don Williams Dead at 78

Country singer Don Williams -- a 2010 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame -- has died after a short illness ... according to his rep.
The Texas native began his music career in the 1960s, but went solo in 1971. He was known for his smooth voice and imposing stature, which scored him the nickname "Gentle Giant."
Williams had 17 number one country hits ... including "You're My Best Friend" and "Tulsa Time." His biggest hit came in 1981 -- "I Believe in You" reached the top of the country charts and #24 on the Hot 100.

Williams briefly retired in 2006, but made a return to touring in 2010 ... the same year he was inducted into the HOF. He played his final show in 2016.
Don's survived by his wife of 57 years, and his 2 sons. He was 78.
RIP ... ead-at-78/
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Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:01 am

Hugh Hefner, Playboy founder, dead at 91
Fox News


Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at age 91
Hefner died of natural causes according to a statement from Playboy.

Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine, died Wednesday at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, surrounded by loved ones, the magazine said in a statement.

He was 91. He died of from natural causes, the statement read.

With a bon vivant philosophy, urbane sophistication and sheer marketing brilliance, Hefner was an icon for the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the man-about-town embodiment of the lifestyle he promoted with gusto and a sly wink to readers.

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner (C) poses during the 2005 "Playmate of the Year" video centrefold party at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, California May 5, 2005. - PBEAHUOAKDA
Hugh Hefner in Santa Monica in 2005. (Reuters)

Asked by the New York Times in 1992 of what he was proudest, Hefner responded: "That I changed attitudes toward sex. That nice people can live together now. That I decontaminated the notion of premarital sex. That gives me great satisfaction."

When he turned 85, he cheerfully observed, "You're as young as the girl you feel."

After a round of celebrity cheating by Tiger Woods and Jesse James was exposed, Hefner summed up his own attitude: "I had a lot of girlfriends, but it's not the same as cheating. I don't cheat. I am very open about what I do. ... I think that when you are in a relationship, you should be honest. The real immorality of infidelity is the lying."

The man known to millions simply as "Hef" was born April 9, 1926, in Chicago, the elder of two sons.

His parents were strict Methodists and Hefner went to Chicago schools before joining the Army, attending the Chicago Art Institute and graduating from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana with a degree in psychology.

"Part of the reason that I am who I am is my Puritan roots run deep," he told the Associated Press in 2011. "My folks are Puritan. My folks are prohibitionists. There was no drinking in my home. No discussion of sex. And I think I saw the hurtful and hypocritical side of that from very early on. "

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner and several Playboy Playmates cheer from a Skybox during Game One of the NBA Finals between the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles June 6, 2001 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

FILE 2001: Hugh Hefner and several Playboy Playmates cheer from a Skybox during Game One of the NBA Finals. (Reuters)

After working first as a copywriter for "Esquire" – where he reportedly left because he didn't get a $5 raise – Hefner decided to start his own publication and he raised $8,000 from 45 investors to launch "Playboy" in December 1953. (He had originally planned to call it "Stag Night," but was forced to change the name to avoid trademark infringement.)

It was produced in his kitchen and carried no date because he wasn't sure there would be a second issue.

But with the trademark intuition and shrewdness that seemed to always ensure his success, Hefner had acquired a nude photo of Marilyn Monroe for the centerfold, taken before the start of her film career.

The magazine sold 50,000 copies, making it an immediate success. (Hefner later bought the crypt next to Monroe's in a Los Angeles cemetery.)

An empire was launched, with Hefner – who divorced first wife Mildred Williams in 1959 – as its charismatic, cosmopolitan head.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner cuts his birthday cake as four of his seven girlfriends,(L-R) Tina Jordan, Tiffany Holliday, Buffy Tyler and Regina Lauren, look on during Hefner's 75th birthday party at Studio 54 inside the MGM Grand hotel-casino in Las Vegas March 2, 2001. Hefner, who doesn't turn 75 until April 9, decided to have a party while in Las Vegas to promote the April issue of Playboy Magazine which features girls from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Often pictured in pajamas – or a silk smoking jacket - and smoking a pipe, Hefner personally promoted the Playboy philosophy as the magazine became an amalgam of nude photographs of gorgeous women and intellectual writing. ("I just read Playboy for the articles," was a standard, if joking, line at the time.)

"If you had to sum up the idea of Playboy, it is anti-Puritanism," he was quoted as saying as the country's mood became more hedonistic.

"Not just in regard to sex but the whole range of play and pleasure."

In addition to the magazine, there were Playboy clubs, with "bunny" waitresses, two short-lived television series and a host of other Playboy Enterprises projects. In 2011 a new television show based on the Playboy Club was launched.

In 1975, Hefner moved to Los Angeles and in 1985, he suffered a minor stroke.

In 1989, he married longtime girlfriend Kimberly Conrad and for a while became a family man with two young sons before the couple separated in 1998.

"My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom," Cooper Hefner, Hefner's son and chief creative officer at Playboy Enterprises, said in a statement. ... at-91.html
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Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:07 am

Rock Legend Tom Petty Dies at 66

Tom Petty became a bonafide rock star after bursting on the music scene in 1976 with his group Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


Rock Legend Tom Petty Dies at 66
Getty Images, File
Tom Petty attends Songwriters Hall Of Fame 47th Annual Induction And Awards at Marriott Marquis Hotel on June 9, 2016, in New York City. The iconic rock star died Monday at age 66.
Rock star Tom Petty, known for a string of hits including "Free Fallin'," died Monday in California, said Petty's manager on behalf of the family. Petty was 66.
The rock legend suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu early Monday and was taken to UCLA Medical Center, according to Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Petty could not be revived and died at 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by his family, friends and bandmates.
Petty became a bonafide rock star after bursting on the music scene in 1976 with his group Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. His band had numerous hits over several decades, including “American Girl,” “Free Fallin’,” “Refugee” and “I Won’t Back Down.”
In Memoriam: Rockstar Tom PettyIn Memoriam: Rockstar Tom Petty
Petty was also a member of the supergroup collective the Traveling Wilburys in the late ’80s alongside Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.
As news of his death spread, friends and fans took to social media to express their condolences.

Source: Rock Legend Tom Petty Dies at 66 - NBC Chicago ... z4uRT1qcSZ
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Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:40 am

Fats Domino, New Orleans rock'n'roll pioneer, dies aged 89
Pianist who sold 110m records including Blueberry Hill was ‘warm, fun-loving, spiritual, creative and humble – you don’t get more New Orleans than that’
Fats Domino

Fats Domino’s prolific career began in the late 1940s. Photograph: AP

Associated Press in New Orleans
Wednesday 25 October 2017 11.12 EDT First published on Wednesday 25 October 2017 10.51 EDT
Fats Domino, the amiable rock’n’roll pioneer whose steady, pounding piano and easy baritone helped change popular music while honoring the traditions of the New Orleans, died on Tuesday. He was 89.

Mark Bone, chief investigator with the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, coroner’s office, said Domino died of natural causes at 3.30am on Tuesday.

In appearance, he was no Elvis Presley. He stood 5ft 5in and weighed more than 200lb, with a wide, boyish smile and a haircut as flat as an album cover. But Domino sold more than 110m records, with hits including Blueberry Hill, Ain’t It a Shame and other standards of rock’n’roll.

He was one of the first 10 honorees named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Rolling Stone Record Guide likened him to Benjamin Franklin, the beloved old man of a revolutionary movement.

His dynamic performance style and warm vocals drew crowds for five decades. One of his show-stopping stunts was playing the piano while standing, throwing his body against it with the beat of the music and bumping the grand piano across the stage.

Domino’s 1956 version of Blueberry Hill was selected for the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry of historic sound recordings worthy of preservation. The preservation board noted that Domino insisted on performing the song despite his producer’s doubts, adding that Domino’s “New Orleans roots are evident in the Creole inflected cadences that add richness and depth to the performance”.

Domino became a global star but stayed true to his hometown, where his fate was initially unknown after Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005. It turned out that he and his family were rescued by boat from his home, where he lost three pianos and dozens of gold and platinum records, along with other memorabilia.

Many wondered if he would ever return to the stage. Scheduled to perform at the New Orleans jazz and heritage festival in 2006, he simply tipped his hat to thousands of cheering fans.

Fats Domino pictured in 2007.

Fats Domino pictured in 2007. Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images
But in May 2007, he was back, performing at Tipitina’s music club in New Orleans. Fans cheered and some cried as Domino played I’m Walkin’, Ain’t It a Shame, Shake, Rattle and Roll, Blueberry Hill and a host of other hits.

That performance was a highlight during several rough years. After losing their home and almost all their belongings to the floods, his wife of more than 50 years, Rosemary, died in 2008.

Domino moved to the New Orleans suburb of Harvey after the storm but would often visit his publishing house, an extension of his old home in the Lower 9th Ward, inspiring many with his determination to stay in the city he loved.

“Fats embodies everything good about New Orleans,” his friend David Lind said in a 2008 interview. “He’s warm, fun-loving, spiritual, creative and humble. You don’t get more New Orleans than that.”

The son of a violin player, Antoine Domino Jr was born on 26 February 1928, to a family that grew to include nine children. As a youth, he taught himself popular piano styles ragtime, blues and boogie-woogie after his cousin left an old upright in the house. Fats Waller and Albert Ammons were early influences.

He quit school at age 14, and worked days in a factory while playing and singing in local juke joints at night. In 1949, Domino was playing at the Hideaway Club for $3 a week when he was signed by Imperial record company.

He recorded his first song, The Fat Man, in the back of a tiny French Quarter recording studio.

“They call me the Fat Man, because I weigh 200 pounds,” he sang. “All the girls, they love me, ’cause I know my way around.”

In 1955, he broke into the white pop charts with Ain’t It a Shame but actually sang the lyrics as “ain’t that a shame”. The song was covered blandly by Pat Boone as Ain’t That a Shame and rocked out years later by Cheap Trick. Domino enjoyed a parade of successes through the early 1960s, including Be My Guest and I’m Ready. Another hit, I’m Walkin,’ became the debut single for Ricky Nelson.

Domino appeared in the rock’n’roll film The Girl Can’t Help It and was among the first black performers to be featured in popular music shows, starring with Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. He also helped bridge rock’n’roll and other styles, even country/western, recording Hank Williams’s Jambalaya and Bobby Charles’s Walkin’ to New Orleans.

Like many of his peers, Domino’s popularity tapered off in the 1960s as British and psychedelic rock held sway.

Domino told Ebony magazine that he stopped recording because companies wanted him to update his style.

Fats Domino in London.

Fats Domino in London. Photograph: Dezo Hoffmann/Rex/Shutterstock
“I refused to change,” he said. “I had to stick to my own style that I’ve always used or it just wouldn’t be me.”

Antoine and Rosemary Domino raised eight children in the same ramshackle neighborhood where he grew up, but they did it in style in a white mansion, trimmed in pink, yellow and lavender. The front double doors opened into an atrium with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and ivory dominoes set in a white marble floor.

In 1988, all of New Orleans seemed to be talking about him after he reportedly paid in cash for two Cadillacs and a $130,000 Rolls-Royce. When the salesman asked if he wanted to call his bank about financing, Domino smiled and said, “I am the bank.”

In 1998, he became the first purely rock’n’roll musician to be awarded the National Medal for the Arts. But he cited his age and didn’t make the trip to the White House to get the medal from President Clinton.

That was typical. Aside from rare appearances in New Orleans, he dodged the spotlight in his later years, refusing to appear in public or even to give interviews. ... es-aged-89
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Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:36 pm

Jim Nabors, TV’s ‘Gomer Pyle,’ dead at 87, husband says


Jim Nabors, left., and Frank Sutton, in the TV series ?Gomer Pyle-USMC? in character in April 1964. . (AP Photo) -- 15dvdreview
Jim Nabors (left) and Frank Sutton starred in the TV series “Gomer Pyle: USMC.”
By Richard Severo NEW YORK TIMES NOVEMBER 30, 2017
NEW YORK — Jim Nabors, a comic actor who found fame in the role of the amiable bumpkin Gomer Pyle in two hit television shows of the 1960s while pursuing a second career as a popular singer with a booming baritone voice, died Thursday at his home in Honolulu. He was 87.

His husband, Stan Cadwallader, confirmed the death, the Associated Press reported. He said that Mr. Nabors’s health had been declining for a year and that his immune system had been suppressed since he underwent a liver transplant in 1994.

At the time, Mr. Nabors announced that he had contracted hepatitis B in India several years earlier when he cut himself shaving with a contaminated straight razor, which he had bought there. ... l:trending
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Re: Celebrity Obituaries

Postby Happy Mom » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:21 pm

Barbara Bush, former first lady, dead at 92
Fox News

Barbara Bush, seen here in 2013.
Barbara Bush, seen here in 2013. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

With her cloud of snow-white hair, signature three strand pearls and compelling presence, Barbara Bush's image was what she laughingly called "everybody's grandmother." But the feisty, outspoken Bush was also a tireless advocate for literacy , an author, experienced campaigner and both wife and mother of a U.S. president.

Bush, 92, died Tuesday, shortly after her family announced she was in failing health and would decline further medical treatment in favor of “comfort care.” There were no details of her specific health problems.

She is survived by her husband of 73 years, former President George H.W. Bush, five children (a sixth died as a toddler), 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Her granddaughter, Jenna Bush Hager, told NBC Monday that she and her twin, Barbara, named after her grandmother, had spoken with the family matriarch Sunday night and “she’s in great spirits, and she’s a fighter and she’s an enforcer.”

Barbara Bush was born June 8, 1925, in New York City, the third of four children of Marvin Pierce, a magazine publishing executive, and Pauline Robinson Pierce. She grew up in the affluent suburb of Rye, New York, where she was an avid athlete, excelling at swimming and tennis.

As a teen, she attended Ashley Hall, a boarding school in South Carolina. In 1941, when she was 16 and home on Christmas break, she met George Herbert Walker Bush, then a student at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., at a holiday dance. The attraction was immediate and 18 months later, they were engaged.

Barbara entered Smith College but dropped out to marry Bush, who had gone to war as a Navy torpedo bomber pilot. She was 19 and he was 20 when they wed January 6, 1945 in Rye. Years later, she said, "I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell my children that, they just about throw up. "

As newlyweds, the couple lived in New Haven, Conn., where Bush was a student at Yale and their first child, George W. Bush, was born. They then moved around regularly – to Texas, California, and back to various Texas cities – as the family grew. By the time she moved to Washington for her husband's vice presidency, Barbara Bush estimated they had moved 29 times.

George W. Bush was followed by a sister, Robin, who lived almost four years before dying of leukemia (an event some speculated was the cause of Barbara Bush's hair turning prematurely white). The children who followed were Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Dorothy.

While George – who called his wife "Bar" - built a business in the oil industry, Barbara devoted herself to raising their family. When he entered public life – as a congressman, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and later as Vice President, she was at his side.

As the vice president's wife, she selected literacy as her special cause. Later, after her husband was elected president, she founded the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. She also was an advocate for volunteerism, including programs involving the homeless, elderly and those with AIDS.

Along the way, she wrote two books about the family dogs, "C. Fred's Story" and the best-selling "Millie's Book," with profits benefitting literacy. After her husband left the White House, she wrote a best-selling autobiography "Barbara Bush: A Memoir" in 1994 followed by "Reflections" in 2004.

Bush once explained that people liked her because "I'm fair and I like children and I adore my husband."

She also was known for her forthright manner, especially when anyone challenged her family. In 1984, speaking of her husband's vice presidential opponent, Geraldine Ferraro, Bush said she couldn't say what she thought of the Democrat on television but "it rhymes with rich."

Following her husband's loss in the 1992 presidential election, the couple moved to Houston and also spent time at the longtime family home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Bush was active in campaigning for her sons Jeb, who served as governor of Florida, and George, who was a two-term U.S. president. Only Barbara Bush and Abigail Adams were both the wife and mother of U.S. presidents.

In 2008, Bush underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer and in 2009, she had heart surgery. In 2014, she was hospitalized with respiratory issues. ... at-92.html
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