Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire Singer and Co-Founder Has Died at Age 74

SADLY, ANOTHER MUSIC GIANT HAS PASSED AWAY …

Maurice White, singer and co-founder of the legendary band Earth, Wind and Fire has died at age 74. White died in Los Angeles, CA after battling Parkinson’s disease since 1992. The band had so many great hits, including “Shining Star,” “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Got To Get You into My Life,” and “After the Love has Gone.” Sadly Maurice White has passed; however, the sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire will live on forever. Easily EW&F are one of my top 50 bands of all-time. Maurice White, Rest in Peace.

September

Earth, Wind and Fire vocalist and co-founder Maurice White died in his sleep in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening. A rep for the band confirmed his passing to Rolling Stone. He was 74.

The singer had been battling Parkinson’s disease since 1992, according to TMZ. His health had reportedly deteriorated in recent months. Because of the disease, he had not toured with the pioneering soul and R&B group since 1994. He nevertheless remained active on the business side of the group.

“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” White’s brother and bandmate Verdine wrote in a statement. “While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”

Boogie Wonderland

“The light is he, shining on you and me,” the band added on Twitter.

White, who formed the group with Verdine in 1969, helped innovate a lush, eclectic style with Earth, Wind and Fire that drew inspiration from funk, jazz, R&B and Latin music – as well as Sly Stone and James Brown – for a unique sound that set the tone for soul music in the Seventies. The springy, elastic soul-pop of “Shining Star,” which White co-wrote, earned them their first Number One, and paved the way for hits like the joyful “Sing a Song,” the percussive and brassy “September,” their swinging cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” and the robotic disco of “Let’s Groove.” Rolling Stone included the group’s sweetly smooth 1975 single, “That’s the Way of the World,” on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Earth, Wind & Fire Bandmates Call Maurice White ‘A Consummate Perfectionist

White — who died Thursday (Feb. 4) at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease — formed the band in 1969, after a tenure as the drummer in the Ramsey Lewis Trio and a short run with his own band, the Salty Peppers. White was EWF’s visionary and conceptualizer, its chief songwriter and producer, as well as the focal point of one of the tightest, hottest-stepping frontlines in pop music.

Over time, White nurtured his younger brother, bassist Verdine White, and singer Philip Bailey as EWF leaders as well, taking over day-to-day operations when he trimmed back his role. But White remained a presence and guiding light in EWF’s world, and back in mid-January — when EWF’s Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award honor was announced — Verdine White and Philip Bailey reflected on his vision and legacy to Billboard:

Posted February 5, 2016 by
Deceased, Music, Obituary | no comments

Actor Abe Vigoda Dead at 94

THIS TIME IT IS SADLY TRUE, ABE VIGODA HAS DIED …

Abe Vigoda, the actor most known for his role as Tessio in The God Father, The God Father II and detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series “Barney Miller,” has passed away at the age of 94 in New Jersey. According to accounts, Vigoda died Tuesday morning in hospice care his sleep in Woodland Park, New Jersey of old age. His career spanned 7 decades with his most prominent roles of that on Barny Miller, Fish and The God Father movies. He was one of my favorites.

I know what  many are saying, but I thought he was already dead. Well so did People Magazine three decades ago In 1982, People Magazine erroneously declared Vigoda dead. Oops. However, the incident made him a cult figure and Vigoda and others were able to keeping all in good humor. Okay People magazine, you can now accurately report his passing.

Rest in Peace Abe Vigoda

abe_vigoda_Fish

Abe Vigoda – Barny Miller

Character actor Abe Vigoda, whose leathery, sad-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series “Barney Miller” and the doomed Mafia soldier in “The Godfather,” died Tuesday at age 94.

Vigoda’s daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, told The Associated Press that Vigoda died Tuesday morning in his sleep at Fuchs’ home in Woodland Park, New Jersey. The cause of death was old age. “This man was never sick,” Fuchs said.

His death brought to an end years of questions on whether he was still alive — sparked by a false report of his death more than three decades ago. Though Vigoda took it in stride, the question of whether he was dead or alive became something of a running joke: There was even a website devoted to answering the much-Googled question, “Is Abe Vigoda dead?” (On Tuesday, it had been updated with “Yes,” with the date of his death.)

Vigoda worked in relative obscurity as a supporting actor in the New York theater and in television until Francis Ford Coppola cast him in the 1972 Oscar-winning “The Godfather.”

Vigoda played Sal Tessio, an old friend of Vito Corleone’s (Marlon Brando) who hopes to take over the family after Vito’s death by killing his son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). But Michael anticipates that Sal’s suggestion for a “peace summit” among crime families is a setup and the escorts Sal thought were taking him to the meeting turn out to be his executioners.

New York Times: Abe Vigoda, of ‘Godfather’ and ‘Barney Miller,’ Dies at 94.

Abraham Charles Vigoda was born in New York City on Feb. 24, 1921, to Samuel Vigoda, a tailor, and the former Lena Moses, immigrants from Russia. Abe, one of three brothers, began acting as a teenager and turned professional in 1947, performing almost entirely onstage for the next 20 or more years.

In 1960, he starred in an Off Broadway production of the Strindberg drama “The Dance of Death,” and he appeared frequently at the New York Shakespeare Festival in the early ’60s, as John of Gaunt in “Richard II” and King Alonzo in “The Tempest,” among other roles.

In 1963, he had the lead in an Off Broadway production of Shaw’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession.” Five years later, he was on Broadway in Peter Weiss’s “Marat/Sade.”

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Vigoda is survived by three grandchildren and a great-grandson, The Associated Press reported. His second wife, Beatrice Schy, died in 1992.

Eagles Co-Founder & Musci Icon Glenn Frey Has Passed Away at Age 67 … RIP

OMG, ANOTHER MUSIC GIANT HAS DIED FAR TOO EARLY … THE LIGHTS ARE A LITTLE LESS BRIGHT TODAY AT THE HOTEL CALIFORNIA.

Glenn Frey, the co-founder and guitarist of The Eagles has passed away at age 67 in New York City. Frey co-wrote most of the legendary Eagles songs that we all know so well and grew up with.  And then there is an entire generation of people who are saying Eagles who, we know him for the soundtrack and his recurring role from Miami Vice. No matter what the case, Music just lost another one of their giants and far too young. This one hurts. The Eagles broke up in the 80′s and thankfully “hell froze over” in 1994 when the Eagles got back together for their monster Hell Freezes Over tour and recorded music till the end.

We’re told the cause of death was a combination of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia.

Frey had been battling intestinal issues for months and had surgery in November. We’re told in the last few days his condition took a turn for the worse. He died in New York City.

Glenn co-wrote and sang on most of the Eagles hits, including “Take It Easy,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and “Heartache Tonight,” to name a few. He also co-wrote “Hotel California” and “Desperado” with Don Henley and took home 6 Grammys with the band.

Tequila Sunrise

From The Eagles comes the following,

It Is With The Heaviest of Hearts That We Announce …

the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016.

Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.

The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery.

Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.

Don Henley issued a statement following the news, in which he called Frey “the one who started it all.”

Henley praised his fellow musician’s work ethic, “encyclopedic” knowledge of music, and devotion to his family. Read Henley’s moving and profound statement below:

“He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed.

“But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved his wife and kids more than anything.

A great tribute at Instapundit.

Fantastic Glenn Frey interview from 1992

Dan Haggerty, Actor Who Played Grizzly Adams, Dies at 74 from Cancer

SAD NEWS, ACTOR OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE 70′S SHOWS PASSES AWAY …

Dan Haggerty, the actor who played mountain man Grizzly Adams with his sidekick, a real bear named Ben, in the 1974 movie (VIDEO) that would become a NBC TV weekly show, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, has passed away. Dan Haggerty died Friday in Burbank, California at 74 as a result of cancer of the spine. Haggerty. who rose to stardom with his rose as the gently mountain man, Grizzly Adams, who was falsely accused of murder and fled to the woods. On a personal note, how I loved this show growing up as a kid and could not wait for it all week to come on. Grizzly Adams and his relationship with an orphaned bear named Ben, Hollywood take note. The TV series ran from 1977 to 1978. Why does it seem like it was so much longer? Maybe it was because it was one of my favorite TV shows of all time!

Dan Haggerty – Rest in Peace

dan_haggerty_with_Ben

Early on in his career and this was something I never knew, Haggerty was cast in a small non-speaking role as a bodybuilder in the 1964 film Muscle Beach Party, with Franky Avalon and Annette Funicello, and also as a bodybuilder in Girl Happy. These were followed by appearances in various biker and wildlife films such as Easy Rider, Angels Die Hard, The Adventures of Frontier Fremont, and Terror Out of the Sky.

dan_haggerty

Dan Haggerty IMDb

Dan Haggerty, who played a gentle mountain man with a luxuriant beard and a bear named Ben in the 1974 movie “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams” and the NBC television series of the same name, died on Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 73.

The cause was cancer of the spine, his friend and manager Terry Bomar said.

Mr. Haggerty was working as a stuntman and animal handler in Hollywood when a producer asked him to act in some opening scenes he was reshooting for a film about a woodsman and his bear. Based on the novel “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” by Charles Sellier Jr., it told the story of a California man falsely accused of murder who flees to the woods, where he develops a rapport with the animals around him and tames an orphaned bear.

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams – The Adams Cub

ABC News has confirmed with the actor’s manager Terry Bomar:

“Dan Haggerty, a beloved Father and friend, has died at 4:30 this morning at St Joseph Hospital in Burbank, CA, surrounded by his family that loved him. He had fought a long hard battle with cancer of the spine that was discovered in August of this year,” Bomar wrote in a press release.

He continued, “All the awards pale in comparison to his huge laugh and wonderful sense of humor that made everyone laugh with him. He would light up any room he entered. He loved life, loved his family, loved his friends and fans.”

Grizzly Adams Pilot Episode Part 1

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

NY Times OBIT:

Daniel Francis Haggerty was born on Nov. 19, 1942, in Los Angeles. His parents separated when he was 3, and he had a troubled childhood, escaping several times from military school before going to live with his father, an actor, in Burbank, Calif.

At 17 he married Diane Rooker. The marriage ended in divorce. His second wife, the former Samantha Hilton, died after a motorcycle accident in 2008. He is survived by his children, Megan, Tracy, Dylan, Cody and Don.

His first film was “Muscle Beach Party” (1964), in which he played a body builder named Biff opposite Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Bit parts in biker and wildlife films followed, as characters like “Bearded Biker” or “Biker With Bandana.” He appeared briefly in “Easy Rider” as a member of the hippie commune that Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper visit.

He made several films with an outdoor setting, including “Where the North Wind Blows” (1974), in which he played a Siberian tiger trapper, and “The Adventures of Frontier Fremont” (1976). He appeared as a dog trainer in the David Carradine film “Americana” (1983). In “Grizzly Mountain” (1997) and “Escape to Grizzly Mountain” (2000) he played a character very much like Grizzly Adams.

As his career cooled, Mr. Haggerty appeared in horror films like “Terror Night” (1987), “Elves” (1989) — playing an alcoholic mall Santa — and “Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan” (2013).

Legendary Musician David Bowie Dies at 69, Rest in Peace

THIS MORNING I WOKE UP STUNNED AND SADDENED …

David Bowie, one of my all-time favorite musicians, has passed away at the age of 69. According to reports, Ziggy Star Dust died after an 18-month battle with cancer. Honestly, I never knew he had it. Bowie had just released his last album, “Blackstar,” this past Friday on his birthday. His music spanned so many generations and Bowie kept reinventing himself and his music. See David Bowie in concert was more than a concert, it was an epic event. The man was a music legend with more fantastic songs than most band have songs. In 1975, Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the number-one single “Fame” and the hit album Young Americans. But that is not before the glam rocker had such huge hits as  ”Space Oddity” and “Star Man.” However, probably my favorites are probable “Changes” and “Heroes”. But there are just too many to pick from. Then there was the MTV years where Bowie hit it big with “Let’s Dance,” “Modern Love” and “China Girl.”

You will be missed, Rest in Peace.

David Bowie – Space Oddity

David Bowie, the infinitely changeable, fiercely forward-looking songwriter who taught generations of musicians about the power of drama, images and personas, died on Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday.

Mr. Bowie’s death was confirmed by his publicist, Steve Martin, on Monday morning.

He died after an 18-month battle with cancer, according to a statement on Mr. Bowie’s social-media accounts.

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family,” a post on his Facebook page read.

Mr. Bowie wrote songs, above all, about being an outsider: an alien, a misfit, a sexual adventurer, a faraway astronaut. His music was always a mutable blend: rock, cabaret, jazz and what he called “plastic soul,” but it was suffused with genuine soul. He also captured the drama and longing of everyday life, enough to give him No. 1 pop hits like “Let’s Dance.”

David Bowie – Changes

The Guardian – The legendary musician known for musical innovation and experimentation with his image died 18 months after being diagnosed with cancer.

The singer’s death was confirmed in a Facebook post on his official page: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”

Writing on Twitter, Bowie’s son, the film director Duncan Jones, 44, said: “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true.” The news came as a shock to some, who were initially sceptical, but Bowie’s publicist, Steve Martin, told the Reuters news agency: “It’s not a hoax.”

David Bowie – Heroes

More from the NY Times obit:

Born David Robert Jones on Jan. 8, 1947, in South London, Mr. Bowie was a person of relentless reinvention. He emerged in the late 1960s with the voice of a rock belter but with the sensibility of a cabaret singer, steeped in the dynamics of stage musicals. He was Major Tom, the lost astronaut in his career-making 1969 hit “Space Oddity.”

He was Ziggy Stardust, the otherworldly pop star at the center of his 1972 album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.”

He was the self-destructive Thin White Duke and the minimalist but heartfelt voice of the three albums he recorded in Berlin in the ’70s, often considered his greatest work: “Low,” “ ‘Heroes’ ” and “Lodger.”

The arrival of MTV in the 1980s was the perfect complement to Mr. Bowie’s sense of theatricality and fashion. “Ashes to Ashes,” the “Space Oddity” sequel that revealed “we know Major Tom’s a junkie,” and “Let’s Dance,” which offered, “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues,” gave him worldwide popularity.

Mr. Bowie was his generation’s standard-bearer for rock as theater: something constructed and inflated yet sincere in its artifice, saying more than naturalism could. With a voice that dipped down to baritone and leaped into falsetto, he was complexly androgynous, an explorer of human impulses that could not be quantified.

 David Bowie – Starman (1972)

 

Posted January 11, 2016 by
Celebrity, Deceased, Music, Obituary | one comment

Scott Weiland, Former Lead Singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolve Found Dead on Tour Bus in Minnesota

Damn, another rock star dies … Scott Weiland found dead on tour bus …

48 year old Scott Weiland, the former lead singer and front man of the Stone Temple Pilots and the Velvet Resolve was found dead on his tour bus in Minnesota. Scott Weiland was on tour with his band Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts and according to reports was supposed to play a gig last night at the Medina Ballroom. As reported at the LA Times, the former lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots struggled with drug addiction. The Stone Temple Pilots were one of my favorite grunge bands of the 90′s. Sadly, Scott Weliand is dead at the age of 48.

Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland – RIP

Rock star Scott Weiland was found dead on his tour bus in Minnesota … TMZ has learned.

Weiland was on tour with his band Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts … they were supposed to play the Medina Ballroom tonight, but the show was cancelled. A source connected to the band tells us Scott was found Thursday night on the bus around 9 PM.

Police surrounded the bus, which was parked outside a motel in the town of Bloomington, MN. The Hennepin County Coroner now has Weiland’s body.

Facebook – Scott Weiland:

Scott Weiland, best known as the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, passed away in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts. At this time we ask that the privacy of Scott’s family be respected.

Everyone is familiar with Plush, but her is some ‘Interstate Love Song,’ … RIP Scott Weiland

LA Times Obit:

Weiland was born Scott Kline in Santa Cruz on Oct. 27, 1967. At the age of 2, his parents divorced. He adopted the last name Weiland when his mother remarried and the family moved to a suburb of Cleveland. His biological father, a soda truck driver, remained in California.

“My childhood was green pastures and bee stings, learning to play baseball and football, living in a nice house, waiting — always waiting — for the start of summer so I could go to California and see my dad,” he wrote in his 2011 memoir, “Not Dead & Not for Sale.”

In a 1998 interview coinciding with the release of Weiland’s solo album “12 Bar Blues,” he told The Times that he had grown accustomed to the trappings of fame brought by Stone Temple Pilots.

“I used to feel guilty about my success, but I’m over that now,” Weiland said. “It’s like, hey, some people cook for a living and some people milk cows. I write songs.”

Stone Temple Pilots – Creep

Golden Age of Hollywood Actress Maureen O’Hara Has Passed Away at Age 95, Rest in Peace

WE HAVE LOST ANOTHER GIANT FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD …

It is a sad day for those of us who love classic movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood and movies actually worth watching. Irish born actress Maureen O’Hara has passed away at age 95. One of my all-time favorite actresses and a classic beauty that represents Hollywood gone by, Maureen O’Hara, died on Saturday at her home in Boise, Idaho. Her family confirmed in a statement that she passed away from natural causes peacefully in her sleep at her on home Saturday morning surrounded by family. Maureen O’Hara is to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA next to her husband, US Navy pilot General Charles Blair who died in a plane crash in 1978.

She was born Maureen FitzSimons on August 17, 1920, in Ranelagh, Ireland, on the outskirts of Dublin and was the second of six children of Charles FitzSimons. But we knew her best for her tremendous acting roles in movies like “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1939), “How Green Was My Valley” (1941), “The Black Swan” (1942), “This Land Is Mine” (1943),”The Quiet Man” (1952) and “McLintock!” (1963). However, my favorite is the timeless holiday classic, “A Miracle on 34th Street” (1947).

One of my favorite stories of Maureen O’Hara was the one where John Wayne, The Duke, paid her one of his highest complaints. John Wayne said, “I’ve had many friends, and I prefer the company of men, except for Maureen O’Hara,” he said. “She is a great guy.”

 Maureen O’Hara, Rest in Peace

Maureen_OHara

New York Times: Maureen O’Hara, Irish-Born Actress Known as Queen of Technicolor, Dies at 95.

Maureen O’Hara, the spirited Irish-born actress who played strong-willed, tempestuous beauties opposite all manner of adventurers in escapist movies of the 1940s and ’50s, died on Saturday at her home in Boise, Idaho. She was 95.

Johnny Nicoletti, her longtime manager, confirmed her death.

Ms. O’Hara was called the Queen of Technicolor, because when that film process first came into use, nothing seemed to show off its splendor better than her rich red hair, bright green eyes and flawless peaches-and-cream complexion. One critic praised her in an otherwise negative review of the 1950 film “Comanche Territory” with the sentiment “Framed in Technicolor, Miss O’Hara somehow seems more significant than a setting sun.” Even the creators of the process claimed her as its best advertisement.

Miracle of 34th Street, (Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn and a young Natalie Wood)

Yet many of the films that made the young Ms. O’Hara a star were in black and white. They included her first Hollywood movie, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1939), in which she played the haunted Gypsy girl Esmeralda to Charles Laughton’s Quasimodo; the Oscar-winning “How Green Was My Valley” (1941), in which she was memorable as a Welsh mining family’s beautiful daughter who marries the wrong man; “This Land Is Mine” (1943), a war drama in which she was directed by Jean Renoir; and “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947), the holiday classic in which she played a cynical, modern Macy’s executive who tries to prevent her daughter from believing in Santa Claus.

The Quiet Man (Maureen O’Hara & John Wayne) – The Kiss scene

I am in 100% agreement with the PJ Tatler, in they just don’t make movies like this anymore like the ones that Maureen O’Hara acted in. Imagine a movie with a plot, movies that set up the dramatic scenes, rather than just using special HD effects. Imagine a movie where the sexual tension is set up between a man and a woman rather than they just jump each others bones in two seconds and leaving a woman’s beauty to the imagination rather than a gratuitous nude scene. If you have never seen any of Maureen O’Hara’s movies, take this moment and do so.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Irish Times: Actor Maureen O’Hara dies aged 95.

“It is with a sad heart that we share the news that Maureen O’Hara passed away today in her sleep of natural causes,” a statement from the Fitzsimons family read.

“Maureen was our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favourite movie, The Quiet Man.”

“While we mourn the loss of a very wonderful woman, we also celebrate her remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world, especially in Ireland, to work hard to make their dreams come true and to always have the courage to stand up for themselves.

“For those who may ask what they can do to honour Maureen, we have a simple request: visit Ireland one day and think of her.”

Her manager said that Ms O’Hara had “a wicked sense of humour and never took her good fortunes for granted.”

“She was a classy, warm, feisty, funny woman and she was always so proudly Irish,” he said.

NY Yankee Great & Hall of Famer Yogi Berra Has Passed Away at Age 90 … Rest in Peace

“It ain’t over till it’s over.” (Yogi Berra)

I am a lifetime Boston Red Sox fan and for most of my life the New York Yankees have been the bane of my existence, but it is with much love, respect and sorrow I say that Yogi Berra has passed away.

Sadly, one of the greatest and most beloved New York Yankees of all times has passed away, Yogi Berra is dead at age of 90. His skill on the field as a catcher was certain and the man was a winner in all things on and off the baseball diamond. The man behind the mask and known to so many for his Yogisms will be sorely missed.  He was born Lawrence Peter Berra was born on May 12, 1925, in the Italian enclave of St. Louis known as the Hill, and grew up to be one of the greatest, most unique and lovable Yankee icons of all time.  Maybe greater than all his World Series wins, too numerous All-star appearances, 3 MVP’s, Yogi Berra served two-years in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving as a gunner’s mate in the D-Day invasion, and had already played three seasons for the Yankees.

Yogi is the last of the all time greats, they just don’t make them like this anymore.

Yogi Berra

Click here or on pic for video via ESPN (Pic -

Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest catchers and characters, who as a player was a mainstay of 10 Yankee championship teams and as a manager led both the Yankees and Mets to the World Series — but who may be more widely known as an ungainly but lovable cultural figure, inspiring a cartoon character and issuing a seemingly limitless supply of unwittingly witty epigrams known as Yogi-isms — died on Tuesday. He was 90.

His death was reported by the Yankees and by the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, N.J. Before moving to an assisted living facility in nearby West Caldwell, in 2012, Berra had lived for many years in neighboring Montclair.

In 1949, early in Berra’s Yankee career, his manager assessed him this way in an interview in The Sporting News: “Mr. Berra,” Casey Stengel said, “is a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.”

And so he was, and so he proved to be. Universally known simply as Yogi, probably the second most recognizable nickname in sports — even Yogi was not the Babe — Berra was not exactly an unlikely hero, but he was often portrayed as one: an All-Star for 15 consecutive seasons whose skills were routinely underestimated; a well-built, appealingly open-faced man whose physical appearance was often belittled; and a prolific winner — not to mention a successful leader — whose intellect was a target of humor if not outright derision.

Yogi Berra Highlights

Except for maybe Babe Ruth, Lou Gerig and Joe Dimaggio, Yogi may just be the greatest Yankee of all time and certainly belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of Yankee players.

Beyond the historic moments and individual accomplishments, what most distinguished Berra’s career was how often he won. From 1946 to 1985, as a player, coach and manager, Berra appeared in a remarkable 21 World Series. Playing on powerful Yankee teams with teammates like Rizzuto and Joe DiMaggio early on and then Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle, Berra starred on World Series winners in 1947, ’49, ’50, ’51, ’52, ’53, ’56 and ’58. He was a backup player on the championship teams of 1961 and ’62. (He also played on World Series losers in 1955, ’57, ’60 and ’63.) All told, his Yankee teams won the American League pennant 14 out of 17 years. He still holds Series records for games played, plate appearances, hits and doubles.

No other player has been a champion so often.

Perhaps what made Yogi Berra stand out to me as the greatest Yankee was his sense of humor, unique style and accessibility. I have used “Yogi-isms” many times wen writing and in my everyday life in and out of work. My favorite is probably, ” It’s like deja vu all over again.” Of course followed by a close second and third of, “It ain’t over `till it’s over” and “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

If you ever get a chance, go to the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center.

Fantastic Obit at the NY Times.

65 Year Anniversary of D-Day – Yogi Berra Feature

Posted September 23, 2015 by
Deceased, MLB, Obituary, You Tube - VIDEO | one comment

Best-Selling British Author Jackie Collins Dies at 77 of Breast Cancer

Jackie Collins, the best selling British book author who had sold more that 500 million copies has passed away at age 77.   Collins died of breast cancer on Saturday in Los Angeles, California. She is survived by her daughters Tracy, Tiffany and Rory and her older sister, Dynasty actress Joan Collins. Jackie Collins was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer in 2009; however, she kept it private and only confided with immediate family. People did an interview with Collins on September 14, which would be her final one. Jackie Collins stated in the interview, she had no regrets about the decision to keep her cancer journey private and as Frank Sinatra would say, “I did it my way”.

Collins, who sat down with PEOPLE on Sept. 14 at her Beverly Hills home for what would be her last interview, had no regrets about the decision to keep her cancer journey private while she embraced a very full life until her very last days. “Looking back, I’m not sorry about anything I did,” she said during the far-ranging interview that saw her spirited, warm and utterly at peace.

“I did it my way, as Frank Sinatra would say. I’ve written five books since the diagnosis, I’ve lived my life, I’ve travelled all over the world, I have not turned down book tours and no one has ever known until now when I feel as though I should come out with it,” said Collins, whose treatments over the years included a lumpectomy, radiation and various drug courses and combinations.

Jackie Collins_RIP

Pic: Jackie Collins.com

Jackie Collins, the best-selling British author who took readers into the glamorous and often steamy world of Hollywood, died of breast cancer on Saturday in Los Angeles. She was 77.

“It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the death of our beautiful, dynamic and one of a kind mother, Jackie Collins, who died of breast cancer today,” her family said in a statement posted to Collins’ Facebook page. People first reported the news of her death.

“She lived a wonderfully full life and was adored by her family, friends and the millions of readers who she has been entertaining for over 4 decades,” the statement continued. “She was a true inspiration, a trail blazer for women in fiction and a creative force. She will live on through her characters but we already miss her beyond words.”

From Facebook – Family Statement:

It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the death of our beautiful, dynamic and one of a kind mother, Jackie Collins, who died of breast cancer today. She lived a wonderfully full life and was adored by her family, friends and the millions of readers who she has been entertaining for over four decades. She was a true inspiration, a trail blazer for women in fiction and a creative force. She will live on through her characters but we already miss her beyond words.

Posted September 20, 2015 by
Cancer, Deceased, Obituary | no comments

Famed Master of Horror Films Wes Craven Has Died at Age 76

FAMED HORROR MOVIE MASTER HAS DIED …

If its a horror movie that made you lose sleep, or be afraid to be in a home alone or have to check the closet, beneath the bed or under the stairs, then most likely you had just seen a horror movie made by Wes Craven. Wes (Wesley) Earl Craven, the master of the horror film genre died on Sunday after his battle with brain cancer at the age of 76. Craven is survived by his third wife, Iya Labunka, also his sister Carol, son Jonathan, daughter Jessica, grandchildren Miles, Max and Myra-Jean and stepdaughter Nina.

Craven is the man who wrote and directed such horror classics as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddie Kruger, The Hills Have Eyes, The People Under the Stairs and directed the Scream movies. Then there was his first movie, The Last House on the Left, which may have been his most disturbing of all. Why that film was suggested as a date movie is a an entire story for another day. Wes Craven truly pushed the limits of the horror film genre to the disturbing and yet had it not been for Craven, so many other classic cult horror flicks may not been possible.

Wes Craven

Rest in Peace

Wes Craven, the famed maestro of horror known for the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises, died Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 76.

Craven, whose iconic Freddy Krueger character horrified viewers for years, died at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced. Survivors include his wife, producer and former Disney Studios vice president Iya Labunka.

Craven was a longtime summer resident of Martha’s Vineyard, where he moved permanently three years ago before returning to L.A. for work and health reasons.
Craven claimed to have gotten the idea for Elm Street from living next to a cemetery on a street of that name in the suburbs of Cleveland. The five Nightmare on Elm Street films were released from 1984-89 and drew big crowds.

Similarly, Craven’s Scream series was a box-office sensation. In those scare-’em-ups, he spoofed the teen horror genre and frequently referenced other horror movies.

Craven’s first feature film was The Last House on the Left, which he wrote, directed and edited in 1972. A rape-revenge movie, it appalled some viewers but generated big box office. Next came another film he wrote and helmed, The Hills Have Eyes (1977).

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare trailer (1994)

Wes Craven reinvented horror three times: cinema looks scary without him.

Wesley Earl Craven was born Aug. 2, 1939 in Cleveland. His father died when he was 5. Raised in a strict Baptist household, he graduated from Wheaton College with degrees in English and psychology, then earned a master’s in philosophy and writing from Johns Hopkins.

If you can judge a film-maker’s influence by how many copycats they inspire, then Wes Craven has to be seen as one of the most influential. Three times he changed his mind about what horror movies should be, and three times we were promptly flooded with all manner of dodgy knock-offs.

And yet The Last House on the Left captured the public mood. It was released into a world reeling from the Manson murders, Vietnam, Altamont and Nixon, and it hit all its marks perfectly. The fact that it was made for less than $90,000, which gave it a rough-and-ready vérité look that just made the horrors seem more real, only magnified its impact. Without The Last House on the Left, there’d be no Texas Chainsaw Massacre, no I Spit on Your Grave, no Halloween. Its advertising campaign (“It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie”) handed more power to marketers and films as varied as Fargo and Paranormal Activity owe a lot to its “The following is based on a true story” misdirect.

Posted August 31, 2015 by
Celebrity, Deceased, Media, Obituary | no comments

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