Preakness Stakes: Black Eye for Horse Racing … Death of Two Race Horses (Homeboykris & Pramedya) … Oh Yeah, Exaggerator Won

ON MARYLAND HORSE RACING’S BIGGEST DAY … TWO HORSES DEAD.

The 141st running of the Preakness States was overshadowed as two horses died and a jockey was injured at Pimlico Race Course during the first few races of a rainy Preakness Saturday in Baltimore, Maryland. In the first 4 races of the day, two horses were dead and one jockey injured. 9 year old Homeboykris collapsed while walking back to his barn after winning the first race on a dirt course at the Pimlico. 9 YEARS OLD AND STILL RACING? Later, 4 year old Pramedya fractured her left cannon bone while racing on a turf course. The horse was immediately euthanized on the track. In a bizarre irony, Pramedya’s owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, also owned the Kentucky Derby-winning horse Barbaro who shattered bones in his leg at the start of the Preakness in 2006. We all sadly remember Barbaro, and Barbaro’s struggle to survive only to be euthanized in 2007.

Racehorse Homeboykris collapsed while walking back to his barn after winning the first race on a dirt course at the Pimlico, according to Sal Sinatra, the president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. The horse collapsed after his picture had been taken in the winner’s circle.

Later, racehorse Pramedya fractured her left cannon bone while racing on a turf course, according to Sinatra, and Pramedya’s Jockey, Daniel Centeno, fell and suffered a right clavicle fracture. Pramedya, 4, was euthanized on the track, according to The Associated Press.

Homeboykris’ owner, Jan Klein, said in a statement to ABC News, “We are all just heartbroken.”

“Kris had a small team who loved him and cared about him. His trainer, Fran Campitelli; his caretakers; and of course, me,” Klein said. “He loved what he did and we will all miss him. Such a wonderful competitor with a marvelous record.

“We all feel privileged to have been a part of his life,” she said.

There will be an autopsy for 9-year-old Homeboykris at the New Bolton veterinary care center in Pennsylvania, Sinatra said.

Pramedya’s owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, also owned the Kentucky Derby-winning horse Barbaro who shattered bones in his leg at the start of the Preakness in 2006. Barbaro developed laminitis and was euthanized in 2007, according to the AP.

Oh yeah, and in other news Exaggerator won the Preakness Stakes defeating Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. There will be no Triple Crown winner this year and nor should there be. Triple Crown’s do not grow on trees and should never be a common occurrence, otherwise the one thing that draws non-horse racing fans to the support the sport would go away as well.

Exaggerator rained on Nyquist’s parade at the Preakness. And that’s no exaggeration at all.

The Kentucky Derby runner-up won the second leg of horse-racing’s Triple Crown Saturday in the rain and slop at Pimlico Race Course. Nyquist, the Derby winner, started fast but faded in the stretch, finishing third behind longshot Cherry Wine.

Kent Desormeaux, the winning jockey, said the secret to victory was staying close to the rail, shortening the distance Exaggerator had to run, while the other jockeys stayed wide.

Prince Found Unresponsive at his Paisley Park Residence … Dead at 57, RIP

PURPLE RAIN HAS PASSED AWAY … WHEN DOVES CRY.

Prince Rogers Nelson, better known as the iconic music superstar Prince has passed away at the age of 57. According to reports, Prince was briefly hospitalized last Friday with what his representatives said was the flu, which caused him to cancel two shows earlier in April. The medical examiners office has received Prince’s body and will perform an autopsy Friday. However, TMZ is reporting that it may have been a drug overdose before his death. Sadly, we have lost another music giant far too soon.

This one stings a bit, especially when the music artists of your youth start dying, and far too soon. We did not know  it at the time in the 1980′s, but we were not just listening to Prince and the Revolution, but a revolutionary performer. Prince was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and performed a legendary version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” to close the ceremony. REST IN PEACE.

1999

Prince passed away Thursday morning at his Paisley Park recording studio. He was 57.

Prince’s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, confirmed the pop music superstar’s death early Thursday afternoon.

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” Noel-Schure said. “There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time.”

Carver County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jason Kamerud says deputies responded to Paisley Park at 9:43 a.m. on the report of a medical situation.

When deputies and medical personnel arrived, they found Prince unresponsive in the elevator. Responders attempted to provide lifesaving CPR, but were unable to revive him.

He was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.

Purple Rain

UPDATE I: Prince’s 40 Biggest Billboard Hits.

The man born Prince Rogers Nelson was an icon on Billboard’s Hot 100 songs chart (and fittingly won Billboard’s Icon Award at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards), where he racked up an impressive array of hits, including five No. 1s. They range from his unforgettable chart-toppers (“Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss”) to funk workouts (“Hot Thing,” “Controversy”) to gorgeous love songs (“The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” “Take Me With U”).

Billboard is looking back on Prince’s long career with his 40 top Hot 100 hits. The list is led by his No. 1 smash from the Purple Rain soundtrack, “When Doves Cry.”

Here are Prince’s 40 biggest Billboard Hot 100 hits:

Rank, Title, Hot 100 Peak Year, Position (Weeks Spent at No. 1)
1, “When Doves Cry,” 1984, No. 1 (5)*
2, “Kiss,” 1986, No. 1 (2)*
3, “Let’s Go Crazy,” 1984, No. 1 (2)*
4, “Cream,” 1991, No. 1 (2)**
5, “Batdance,” 1989, No. 1 (1)
6, “Raspberry Beret,” 1985, No. 2*
7, “U Got the Look,” 1987, No. 2
8, “Purple Rain,” 1984, No. 2*
9, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” 1994, No. 3
10, “Sign ‘O’ the Times,” 1987, No. 3

One of my favorites – Little Red Corvette

WAPO Obit:

An eccentric, eclectic and electrifying singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger, Prince Rogers Nelson became one of popular music’s leading stars in the 1980s — a towering figure who found enormous critical and commercial success by blending R&B and rock to make a relentlessly funky, soulful and sensual stew.

Recording Academy President Neil Portnow referred to Prince — a seven-time Grammy winner — as “one of the most uniquely gifted artists of all time.”

“Never one to conform, he redefined and forever changed our musical landscape,” Portnow said in a statement. “Prince was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever. We have lost a true innovator and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, collaborators, and all who have been impacted by his incredible work.”

Prince, the son of a jazz musician, was born Prince Rogers Nelson in June 1958. His debut album, “For You,” was released in 1978; one year later came “Prince,” an album that contained “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” his first hit.

That pair of albums “unveiled a budding genius and one-man band,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said.

In the early 1980s, Prince released “1999.”

Then, in 1984, came “Purple Rain,” which “elevated Prince from cult hero to superstar,” the Rock Hall said.

Posted April 22, 2016 by
Autopsy, Celebrity, Deceased, Music | no comments

Former WWE Wrestler Chyna Found Dead at Age 45

ANOTHER WWE WRESTLER HAS DIED FAR TOO YOUNG … CHYNA, THE 9TH WONDER OF THE WORLD HAS DIED.

Former WWE wrestling superstar Chyna was found dead in her apartment in Redondo Beach, Caliornia on Wednesday. Sadly, she was only 45.  The WWE Universe is once again mourning the news that the former WWF wrestler has died far too young. Chyna, real name Joanie Laurer, was found by police in her apartment not breathing. TMZ is speculation that it might be a possible drug overdose.

Chyna – RIP

Chyna

The WWE Universe is in mourning following the news that the former WWF wrestler was found dead at age 45 Wednesday. Police in Redondo Beach, Calif., were called to Chyna’s apartment that afternoon after a friend discovered she was not breathing; the WWE superstar was pronounced dead on the scene. Chyna’s manager told E! News late Wednesday night that “she was found peacefully” but could not offer further details. As of now, her cause of death is unknown. However, police said there are no indications or signs that her death was the result of foul play.

Chyna’s death was announced via Twitter. “It is with deep sadness to inform you today that we lost a true icon, a real life superhero,” the statement read. “Joanie Laurer aka Chyna, the 9th wonder of the world has passed away.

Chyna – Chyna vs Trish Stratus – WWF Womens Championship Match

Chyna was an amazing talent and a ground breaker in wrestling …

Chyna made her WWE debut in 1997 as an enforcer for Triple H. A founding member of the stable D-Generation X, she held the WWF Intercontinental Championship twice and the WWF Women’s Championship once. She was also the first woman to participate in the Royal Rumble and King of the Ring events. After leaving the WWF in 2001, Chyna wrestled occasionally, with New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002 and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2011. Additionally, Chyna appeared as a cast member on VH1′s The Surreal Life in 2005. She returned to the network in 2007 for The Surreal Life: Fame Games and again in 2008 for Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. She also made six porn movies between 2004 and 2011, winning two AVN Awards.

“WWE is saddened to learn of reports that Joanie Laurer, best known for competing in WWE as Chyna, has passed away,” the organization said in a statement Thursday. “A physically striking and talented performer, Chyna was a true sports-entertainment pioneer…WWE extends its condolences to Laurer’s family, friends and fans.”

Posted April 21, 2016 by
Deceased, Obituary | no comments

“Everybody Loves Raymond” Star Doris Roberts Dead at 90 … RIP

Doris Roberts has passed at age 90 …

“Everybody Loves Raymond” mom, Doris Roberts has passed away at the age of 90.  Best known for her role as the beloved and meddlesome mom, Marie Barone, on the sit-com Everybody Loves Raymond died in her sleep Sunday at her home in Los Angeles. The sitcom, that was one of my all-time favorites, aired from 1996 to 2005, also starred Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and Patricia Heaton. Peter Boyle, who played husband Frank Barone opposite Roberts, died in 2006. Roberts was born Nov. 4, 1925, in St. Louis and grew up in New York.  The actress began her stage career on Broadway in the 1950s, amassing credits that eventually included Neil Simon’s “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers” and Terrence McNally’s “Bad Habits.”

A fond farewell to one of the funniest actresses ever.

Doris Roberts (1925–2016), Rest in Peace

Doris Roberts wins 2005 Emmy Award for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Doris Roberts, the beloved mom from “Everybody Loves Raymond,” has died … TMZ has learned.

We’re told Doris passed away Sunday in L.A.

She won 5 Emmy awards, 4 of them for ‘Raymond.’ She’s also starred in tons of other TV shows and movies, like “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “Grandma’s Boy.”

She’s survived by her son, Michael Cannata Jr., who she had with her first husband. Doris’ second husband, William Goyen, died in 1983.

Doris Roberts

KTLA: Actress Doris Roberts of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Dies at Age 90.

The show’s creator tweeted Monday: “We loved our mom, the great #DorisRoberts. A wonderful, funny, indelible actress and friend.”

Actress Patricia Heaton, with whom Roberts’ character faced off on the show, said the death marked the “end of an era.”

“Doris Roberts was a consummate professional from whom I learned so much,” Heaton wrote on Twitter. “She was funny and tough and loved life, living it to the the fullest.”

Posted April 19, 2016 by
Celebrity, Deceased, Main, Obituary | no comments

Country Music Icon Merle Haggard Has Died at 79, Rest in Peace

Country music icon Merle Haggard has died …

It is with incredible sadness to announce that country music icon Merle Haggard has passed away at the age of 79. Wow, this one hits close to home. I grew up on listening to the likes of Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, Sr. as my parents played the 8-track tapes over and over. Yes Millennials, 8-track tapes, Google it. There were just so many songs to like from country great Merle Haggard, The Tennessean has provided 15 songs that defined a legendary career. Rest in Peace Merle.

Okie From Muskogee

Merle Haggard, one of the most successful singers in the history of country music, a contrarian populist whose songs about his scuffling early life and his time in prison made him the closest thing that the genre had to a real-life outlaw hero, died at his ranch in Northern California on Wednesday, his 79th birthday.

His death was confirmed by his agent, Lance Roberts. Mr. Haggard had recently canceled several concerts, saying he had double pneumonia.

Few country artists have been as popular and widely admired as Mr. Haggard, a ruggedly handsome performer who strode onto a stage, guitar in hand, as a poet of the common man. Thirty-eight of his singles, including “Workin’ Man Blues” and the 1973 recession-era lament “If We Make It Through December,” reached No. 1 on the Billboard country chart from 1966 to 1987. He released 71 Top 10 country hits in all, 34 in a row from 1967 to 1977. Seven of his singles crossed over to the pop charts.

Mama Tried

More from The NY Times:

Merle Ronald Haggard was born on April 6, 1937, in Oildale, Calif. His first years were spent in the abandoned boxcar that his father, James, a railroad carpenter, had converted into a home for his family. James Haggard died of a stroke in 1946, after which Mr. Haggard’s mother, the former Flossie Mae Harp, a strict and pious member of the ultraconservative Church of Christ, took a bookkeeping job to provide for her three children.

Sing Me Back Home

From Billboard Magazine – Merle Haggard on Death: ‘Sometimes I Fear It and Other Times It Calls to Me Like a Forgotten Dream’ (Exclusive):

Merle wanted to be seen the way he was.

“Wrote a tune not long called ‘I Am What I Am,’” he said, “that sums me up pretty damn good. Song says, “I believe Jesus is God and a pig is just ham…I’m a seeker, I’m a sinner, and I am what I am.”

Seated in an easy chair in the living room of his modest home, he discussed a recent operation that removed a cancer from his lung, the cancer that ultimately returned and took his life on April 6 at age 79.

“All this near-death stuff has me thinking that it’s time to reconcile all the many Merles. There’s Merle the daddy’s boy, the son of a railroad man. Then there’s the juvenile delinquent Merle who tore up more than one reform school, the Merle who spent a decade of hard time in prison, the Merle who had the guts to stand up in those Bakersfield barrooms imitating his idol Lefty Frizzell, the Merle who finally found his own voice and muddled his way through show business. And most devilishly complicated of all, the Merle of four marriages.”

Darkness fell. Merle grew quiet. He slipped in a DVD of his favorite preacher, Dr. Gene Scott, who spoke of eternal life. When the sermon ended, I asked Merle whether he feared death.

“Sometimes I fear it,” he said, “and other times it calls to me like a forgotten dream or an old song. I’m not saying I welcome it, but I recognize it as part of a holy process. Born of nature, return to nature. Maybe that’s the name of my last song.

Four Americans Confirmed Killed in Brussels Terrorist Attacks (Justin & Stephanie Shults, Alexander Pinczowski and his Sister, Sascha)

AFTER AMERICANS DIED AND WERE HEINOUSLY KILLED IN A TERROR BOMB ATTACK IN BRUSSELS, BARACK OBAMA ENJOYED HIM SELF AT A BASEBALL GAME IN CUBA AND DANCING IN ARGENTINA.

Sadly, two more Americans have been confirmed to have been killed in the Brussels bombing terror attack in Brussels, Belgium. The two have been identified as a married couple, Justin and Stephanie Shults. They were killed in the bombings at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport. Earlier Sunday, the White House said that President Barack Obama telephoned the parents of an American couple identified as among the dead in last week’s attacks. What, Obama didn’t have a more pressing golf game to attend? Justin Shults was originally from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and his wife, Stephanie, was a native of Lexington, Kentucky. They graduated together from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Previously, Alexander Pinczowski and his sister, Sascha, were killed at Brussels airport.

Justin and Stephanie Shults

Four Americans are confirmed to have been killed in last week’s terror attacks in Brussels, the State Department said late Sunday.

A State Department official confirmed the deaths of two additional U.S. citizens in a brief statement, but declined to identify them. The statement expressed “our deepest condolences” to those who had lost loved ones. The department initially said Friday that two Americans had died in the attacks.

Over the weekend, married couple Justin and Stephanie Shults were confirmed to have been killed in the bombings at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport. A family member told the Associated Press they were dropping Stephanie’s mother off at the airport and were watching her walk through security when the bombs went off.

President Barack Obama telephoned the couple’s parents earlier Sunday. The White House said Obama offered his condolences and praised Justin and Stephanie Shults as epitomizing all that was good about America.

On Friday, U.S. officials told Fox News that the wife of an Air Force lieutenant colonel had been killed in the airport attack. The unidentified serviceman and four other members of his family were injured in the blast.

Really, so now Obama decides to act like a president and offer his condolences? Sorry, but Obama should never and I repeat never have attended a baseball game in Cuba and then danced the night away in Argentina as the ISIS terror attacks ripped through Brussels and murdered Americans. But what would you expect from a president who cares more about himself than We the People. But of course ISIS doesn’t pose a threat. Who is the real JV?

Easter Suicide Bomb Targeting Christians that Killed at least 70 People

At least 72 people were killed and more than 320 others injured when a suicide bomber, who was targeting Christians, blew himself up at a busy park in Lahore on Sunday in Pakistan.

Reuters:

Pakistani authorities on Monday hunted members of a Taliban faction which once declared loyalty to Islamic State after the group claimed responsibility for an Easter suicide bomb targeting Christians that killed at least 70 people.

The brutality of Sunday’s attack by Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, the group’s fifth bombing since December, reflects the movement’s attempts to raise its profile among Pakistan’s increasingly fractured Islamist militants.

At least 29 children enjoying an Easter weekend outing were among those killed when the suicide bomber struck in a busy park in the eastern city of Lahore, the power base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan is a majority-Muslim state but has a Christian population of more than two million.

It was Pakistan’s deadliest attack since the December 2014 massacre of 134 school children at a military-run academy in the city of Peshawar that prompted a big government crackdown on Islamist militancy.

5 People are Dead in Wilkinsburg, PA Mass Shooting … Gunmen(s) Still on the Loose

5 PEOPLE KILLED IN MASS SHOOTING

Five people are dead and several injured after a mass shooting Wednesday night in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, just east of Pittsburgh.  The incident occurred during a backyard party/cookout at 1304 Franklin Avenue. Four people, three women and a man, were found shot on a back porch and were pronounced dead at the scene, and a woman was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Police stated that party-goers appeared to attempt to run into the home when the sots were fired, at which point a person on the side or backyard adjacent to the house fired at the back porch.  Some witnesses said that they heard up to 20 shots fired or more.  There are presumed to have been two gunman. They are still on the loose.

Five people are dead and three people are hurt after a mass shooting in Wilkinsburg Wednesday night, Allegheny County Police said.

Emergency dispatchers confirmed that police and seven ambulances were called to Franklin Avenue just before 11 p.m.

Authorities said four women and one man were killed. Three of the women and the man were pronounced dead at the scene. The fourth woman was pronounced dead at UPMC Mercy hospital.

Three others were taken from the scene in ambulances. Of those victims, two men were listed in critical condition and a woman was listed in stable condition, police said.

A man who identified himself as the father of one of the victims told Channel 11 News his daughter, 38-year-old Tona Shelton, died at the scene.

Anyone who saw or heard anything is asked to contact the Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit at (412) 473-1300. Callers can remain anonymous.

Nancy Reagan, Former First Lady Has Passed Away at 94 … Nancy & Ronald Reagan Toegther Again for Eternity

NANCY REAGAN REUNITED WITH THE LOVE OF HER LIFE … NANCY REAGAN HAS PASSED AWAY.

Nancy Reagan, the former first lady and the wife of the late President Ronald Reagan, died Sunday at the age of 94 at her home in Los Angeles. According to her spokeswoman, Joanne Drake of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Nancy Reagan died at her home of congestive heart failure. Nancy Reagan will be buried at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, next to her husband, Ronald Wilson Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004. So many of us know her for her “Just Say No” anti-drugs policy in the 1980′s and her undying support and love for President Ronald Reagan. Nancy will now be reunited for eternity with the love of her life, together again, forever. God Bless and Rest in Peace.

Nancy Reagan

Nancy Davis Reagan, wife of the late President Ronald Reagan, died Sunday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 94.

The former first lady will perhaps be best remembered for her loyalty to her husband. She became fiercely protective of him after a 1981 assassination attempt, and later stood by him as Alzheimer’s disease overtook him in his last years.

In a 1998 Vanity Fair article, she vocalized this loyalty: “When I say my life began with Ronnie, well, it’s true. It did,” she said.

During her White House years, she sponsored a major drug prevention crusade aimed at children and young adults. She toured the U.S. and other nations as part of her “Just Say No” campaign, traveling almost 250,000 miles.

Reagans

Republican leaders also paid tribute Sunday to Nancy Reagan.

“With the passing of Nancy Reagan, we say a final goodbye to the days of Ronald Reagan,” wrote 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Facebook. “With charm, grace, and a passion for America, this couple reminded us of the greatness and the endurance of the American experiment. … God and Ronnie have finally welcomed a choice soul home.”

Former first lady Barbara Bush, whose husband George H.W. Bush succeeded Ronald Reagan as president, also expressed her condolences.

“Nancy Reagan was totally devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be reunited once more. George and I send our prayers and condolences to her family,” she said in a statement.

Former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, also were moved by Reagan’s death.

“Mrs. Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband, and that devotion was matched only by her devotion to our country,” Bush said in a statement.

He observed that her influence on the White House was “complete and lasting.”

Reagans2

NY Times Obit:

Born Anne Frances Robbins on July 6, 1921, in New York City, Nancy Davis was the daughter of Edith Luckett, an actress, and Kenneth Robbins, a car dealer who abandoned the family soon after her birth. Miss Luckett resumed her stage career when her daughter was 2 and sent the child to live with relatives in Bethesda, Md. In 1929, Mrs. Luckett married a Chicago neurosurgeon, Loyal Davis, who adopted Nancy and gave her the family name.

Almost overnight, Nancy Davis’s difficult childhood became stable and privileged. Throughout the rest of her life, she described Dr. Davis as her real father.

Nancy Davis graduated from the elite Girls’ Latin School in Chicago and then from Smith College in 1943. Slender, with photogenic beauty and large, luminous eyes, she considered an acting career. After doing summer stock in New England, she landed a part in the Broadway musical “Lute Song,” with Mary Martin and Yul Brynner. With the help of a friend, the actor Spencer Tracy, her mother then arranged a screen test given by the director George Cukor, of MGM.

Talk about undying love and to death do us part … Nancy Reagan’s toughest battle: The ‘long, long goodbye’ to the man she loved.

 

Actor George Kennedy Dies at 91 … RIP

REST IN PEACE GEORGE KENNEDY …

One of my favorite supporting actors of all times has died, George Kennedy has passed away at the age of 91.  As reported, George Kennedy was born in New York City and he first appeared onstage at the age of two. But would later spend 16 years in the U.S. Army, ultimately working for Armed Forces Radio. Most remember Kennedy for his role with Paul Newman in the movie favorite, “Cool Hand Luke” and the 1970′s films “Airport” and “Earthquake.” Of course those films were classics, but I liked him as well in other movies such as “Delta Force,” “The Dirty Dozen,” and the TV series “The Blue Knight.”

George Kennedy winning Best Supporting Actor For Cool Hand Luke

George Kennedy, who won a supporting actor Oscar for his role alongside Paul Newman in the beloved film “Cool Hand Luke,” and was also a fixture of 1970s disaster movies including the “Airport” franchise and “Earthquake,” died Sunday in Boise, Idaho. He was 91. His grandson Cory Schenkel reported the death on his Facebook page.

While Kennedy largely played gruff, blue-collar characters in dramas and genre films, he allowed a comedic side to emerge in the deadpan “The Naked Gun” movies.

Kennedy appeared in all four of the “Airport” movies of the 1970s as Joe Patroni, the reluctant, cigar-chomping but highly effective chief mechanic who could be counted upon when the chips were down and supreme expertise was required. He also turned in a powerful performance in 1975’s “Earthquake” as the hearty, sentimental police sergeant Slade, who helps where he can in the wake of the devastating temblor.

Kennedy toiled in the TV trenches for much of the 1960s, especially guesting on Westerns — and occasionally appearing in supporting roles in high-profile films such as “In Harm’s Way,” “The Sons of Katie Elder,” “The Flight of the Phoenix” and “The Dirty Dozen.”

New York Times Obit – George Kennedy, Versatile Actor Who Won an Oscar for ‘Cool Hand Luke,’ Dies at 91.

George Kennedy, who played tough guys, oafs, G.I.’s and a bonanza of cowboys as one of Hollywood’s most versatile and durable character actors, and who won an Oscar as the best supporting actor of 1967 for his performance in the Paul Newman film “Cool Hand Luke,” died on Sunday in Boise, Idaho. He was 91.

No critic ever spoke of a George Kennedy oeuvre. Many of his films were hokey, with absurd plots and over-the-top acting. And, with the exception of his Academy Award performance and his work in about a dozen other films, he was most often a peripheral player, a sidekick of the star or the straight man with setup lines for the comedian.

But from the early 1960s on, hardly a year went by without a Kennedy picture — often there were four or five a year — and he was memorable as the heavy in “Charade” (1963), with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant; as Maj. Max Armbruster on a World War II mission in “The Dirty Dozen” (1967); as a regular in the “Airport” pictures, and later as Leslie Nielsen’s dumbstruck captain in the “Naked Gun” comedies.

He was perhaps best known for his role in “Cool Hand Luke”: Dragline, a chain-gang prisoner whose brutality and compassion as the gang leader not only revealed Mr. Kennedy’s rarely seen range as an actor, but also deftly illuminated the character of his tormented fellow convict, played by Mr. Newman.

George Harris Kennedy Jr. was born in New York City on Feb. 18, 1925, the son of George and Helen Kennedy. His father, a musician and bandleader, died when he was 4, and he was raised by his mother, a ballet dancer. His parents put him on the stage at 2, and he later worked in radio. But his entertainment career got off to a late start.

A military career seemed more likely. After graduating from W. C. Mepham High School in Bellmore, N.Y., he joined the Army, fought in the infantry in Europe in World War II and spent 16 years in the service.

Next Page →

Support Scared Monkeys! make a donation.

 
 
  • NEWS (breaking news alerts or news tips)
  • Red (comments)
  • Dugga (technical issues)
  • Dana (radio show comments)
  • Klaasend (blog and forum issues)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
E-mail It