Roger Ebert, the long time movie critic has died at the age of 70 after his battle with cancer. Ebert had previously battled cancer in his thyroid and salivary glands, losing the ability to speak and eat on his own. Ebert co-hosted the weekly TV series ‘At the Movies’ with Gene Siskel, his fellow Chicago based movie critic, who himself had passed away in 1999. The man was brilliant in the critique of movies and I can remember watching ‘At the Movies’ all of the time to hear both Siskel and Ebert’s opinions and critiques. However, as much as he was knowledgeable about movies, his liberal politics was quite something different. But that is another story for another day. As stated at Ann Althouse, on Tuesday, Mr. Ebert blogged that he had suffered a recurrence of cancer following a hip fracture suffered in December, and would be taking ‘a leave of presence.’ Who would have known that is all would have ended so quickly?
To both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, thank you both for your fine movie critiques over the years and we will see you both, ‘At the Movies’.
Roger Ebert: June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013, RIP
For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers.
“No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”
Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago.
“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away,” said his wife, Chaz Ebert. “No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.”
Siskel & Ebert on Film Criticism and Political Correctness
GENE SISKEL: You have to summon up the courage to say what you honestly feel. And it’s not easy. There’s a whole new world called political correctness that’s going on, and that is death to a critic to participate in that.
EBERT: Political correctness is the fascism of the ‘90s. It’s kind of this rigid feeling that you have to keep your ideas and your ways of looking at things within very narrow boundaries, or you’ll offend someone. Certainly one of the purposes of journalism is to challenge just that kind of thinking. And certainly one of the purposes of criticism is to break boundaries; it’s also one of the purposes of art. So that if a young journalist, 18, 19, 20, 21, an undergraduate tries to write politically correctly, what they’re really doing is ventriloquism.
‘One Day at a Time’ mom Anne Romano dies …
Bonnie Franklin, better known to many as Ann Romano, the divorced working mother with two teen daughters, in Norman Lear’s groundbreaking sitcom ‘One Day at a Time’ has passed away at the age of 69 from complications of pancreatic cancer. In September 2012 it was made public that Bonnie has been diagnosed with aggressive pancreatic cancer. Sadly, she lost that battle Friday night. Bonnie Franklin played a divorced woman in her 30′s who was raising two teenagers and building a new life for herself in her hometown of Indianapolis. Probably at the time I never realized the sitcoms ground breaking role because I was too busy having a crush on Valerie Bertinelli, Barbara Cooper. However, the show tackled many of the day to day issues of a divorced mom that was happening all too often in the 70′s. On a personal note, I actually had the opportunity to meet Bonnie Franklin as I knew an individual in New Jersey that was close friends with her. She came across and an extremely nice person. Sadly, cancer has taken another life.
Rest in Peace
Bonnie Franklin, Valerie Bertinelli, Mackenzie Phillips and Pat Harrington Jr. of ‘One Day At a Time.’ CBS
Bonnie Franklin, the actress who created an indelible television character playing a divorced, working mother of two headstrong daughters on the long-running series “One Day at a Time,” died Friday at her Los Angeles home. She was 69.
The cause was complications from pancreatic cancer, her family announced.
By the mid-1970s, Franklin was a theater veteran who had earned a Tony nomination for her performance in the Broadway musical “Applause” when she was offered a different kind of role, one that was not then the usual fare on network television.
Developed by Norman Lear, the new CBS series would tell the story of Ann Romano, a divorced woman in her 30s who was raising two teenagers and building a new life for herself in her hometown of Indianapolis. Franklin’s character wasn’t the first divorced woman on network television; but the role, like those of other characters in Lear’s groundbreaking sitcoms, was infused with a new level of social realism.
One Day at a Time – ‘Pressure’ (1 of 3)
I was an avid fan of the show that ran from 1975 to 1984. What made the show great was not that it delved into social issues of the day like teen sex, divorce and birth control. The show and the ’One Day at a Time’s’ producer Normal Lear never forgot one important fact, it was a comedy.
“One Day at a Time” ran from December 1975 to May 1984, and its ratings ranked in the top 20 in eight of those seasons and in the top 10 in four. Ms. Franklin was nominated for an Emmy Award and twice for a Golden Globe.
The show’s topicality fell squarely in the tradition of its developer, Norman Lear, who had gained renown for introducing political and social commentary to situation comedy with “All in the Family” and other shows. Its co-creator was Whitney Blake, a former sitcom star who, as a single mother, had reared the future actress Meredith Baxter.
Like Archie and Edith Bunker in “All in the Family,” Ann and her daughters, Julie and Barbara Cooper (Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli), used comedy in the service of grappling with serious and thorny real-world matters.
Franklin’s TV daughters Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips react to her death.
Bonnie Franklin is survived by her mother, Claire Franklin; stepchildren Jed Minoff and Julie Minoff; two grandchildren; her brothers, Dr. Bernard Franklin and Richard Franklin; and sisters, Victoria Kupetz and Judith Bush.
It is so very sad that cancer, especially pancreatic cancer, is so unforgiving. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer spreads quickly and is often diagnosed too late, when it’s already begun spreading in the body. The following is a list of other actors and celebrities who have recently passed away from pancreatic cancer:
- Patrick Swayze, star of “Ghost” and “Dirty Dancing” died after a battle with pancreatic cancer in September 2009, at the age of 57.
- Steve Jobs, the founder and CEO of Apple battled the disease for an estimated seven years before succumbing to pancreatic cancer at the age of 56.
- Donna Reed was first admitted to the hospital with bleeding ulcers, but screening tests revealed that she was suffering from a tumor in her pancreas. She died of the cancer within six weeks of diagnosis.
- Ben Gazzara, a long-time dramatic actor, died in early 2012 from pancreatic cancer
- Fred Gwynne, The actor probably best known as the patriarch on the 1960s television series “The Munsters,” Gwynne died from pancreatic cancer at age 66,
- Michael Landon, famous for his roles in period Western dramas, like” “Bonanza” and “Little House on the Prairie,” but the actor was also well-known for his battle with pancreatic cancer.
C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general who served from 1982 to 1989, has died at the age of 96 at his home in Hanover, NH. Coop served under both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. C. Everett Coop was probably one of the most recognizable and influential US surgeon generals ever. During his tenure as Surgeon General, Koop was an effective communicator best known for raising awareness on the dangers of smoking and AIDS. He once described himself as the “health conscience” of America. Who can forget the surgeons general warning on cigarettes packages that became as popular as Nancy Regan’s “Just Say No” drug campaign and his call for a smoke free nation. In 1984 he wrote that nicotine has an addictiveness similar to that of heroin or cocaine.
C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general who brought frank talk about AIDS into U.S. homes, has died at his home in Hanover, N.H., officials at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth said Monday. He was 96.
Koop, a pediatric surgeon with a conservative reputation and a distinctive beard, served from 1982 to 1989 during the Reagan administration and the early months of the administration of George H.W. Bush.
“He was a historic figure,” who became surgeon general the year the AIDS pandemic began and played a pivotal role in educating Americans about it, says Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
C. Everett Coop takes on smoking and AIDS from the NY Times.
Dr. Koop issued emphatic warnings about the dangers of smoking, and he almost single-handedly pushed the government into taking a more aggressive stand against AIDS. And despite his steadfast moral opposition to abortion, he refused to use his office as a pulpit from which to preach against it.
These stands led many liberals who had bitterly opposed his nomination to praise him, and many conservatives who had supported his appointment to vilify him. Conservative politicians representing tobacco-growing states were among his harshest critics, and many Americans, for moral or religious reasons, were upset by his public programs to fight AIDS and felt betrayed by his relative silence on abortion.
As much as anyone, it was Dr. Koop who took the lead in trying to wean Americans off smoking, and he did so in imposing fashion. At a sturdy 6-foot-1, with his bushy gray biblical beard, Dr. Koop would appear before television cameras in the gold-braided dark-blue uniform of a vice admiral — the surgeon general’s official uniform, which he revived — and sternly warn of the terrible consequences of smoking.
“Smoking kills 300,000 Americans a year,” he said in one talk. “Smokers are 10 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers, two times more likely to develop heart disease. Smoking a pack a day takes six years off a person’s life.”
Ed Koch, Former Mayor of NYC Dead at the Age of 88, December 12, 1924 – February 1, 2013 … Rest in Peace
Ed Koch, the former New York City mayor from January 1, 1978 to December 31, 1989 died Friday morning at the ager of 88. Koch died at 2 a.m. from congestive heart failure at the New York-Presbyterian Columbia Hospital. What a tremendous loss, Ed Koch was one in a million. For anyone who followed politics and lived in the NYC area at the time, you knew Koch for his huge personality, tenacity, humor, ability to take on the tough issues and get them done. Koch is forever known for asking the public with his trademark saying, “How’m I doin?” Maybe today’s politicians should take the time and care enough today to do the same. Koch was a liberal Democrat, but he was never afraid to speak his mind and let people how he felt, right or wrong. His unbridled candor was stuff that today’s 24-7-365 news and social media would have loved to have been a part of. For that, I may not have always agreed to his policies or his politics, but I did respect him. Koch was a politician who did not hide behind lies, spin or political correctness, how refreshing.
December 12, 1924 – February 1, 2013
Edward I. Koch, the master showman of City Hall, who parlayed shrewd political instincts and plenty of chutzpah into three tumultuous terms as mayor of New York with all the tenacity, zest and combativeness that personified his city of golden dreams, died Friday morning at age 88.
Mr. Koch’s spokesman, George Arzt, said the former mayor died at 2 a.m. from congestive heart failure. He was being treated at New York-Presbyterian Columbia Hospital.
Mr. Koch had experienced coronary and other medical problems since leaving office in 1989. But he had been in relatively good health despite — or perhaps because of — his whirlwind life as a television judge, radio talk-show host, author, law partner, newspaper columnist, movie reviewer, professor, commercial pitchman and political gadfly.
Barack Obama could learn a lot from Democrat Ed Koch’s handling of the economy. It is too bad that Ed Koch was not the president today, unlike Bill Clinton who said at the 2012 Democrat that even he could not have turned around the US economy, which paved the way for Obama’s reelection. Back in his day, Koch turned around NYC’s economy and brought it back from the brink of bankruptcy. However, one of NY City’s biggest mistakes was in 1989 when Koch ran for a fourth term as Mayor but lost the Democratic primary to David Dinkins, who was an epic one term failure.
Most important, he is credited with leading the city government back from near bankruptcy in the 1970s to prosperity in the 1980s. He also began one of the city’s most ambitious housing programs, which continued after he left office and eventually built or rehabilitated more than 200,000 housing units, revitalizing once-forlorn neighborhoods.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who released a statement this morning, said, ” He was a great mayor, a great man, and a great friend. In elected office and as a private citizen, he was our most tireless, fearless, and guileless civic crusader. Through his tough, determined leadership and responsible fiscal stewardship, Ed helped lift the city out of its darkest days and set it on course for an incredible comeback. We will miss him dearly.”
Ed Koch, Rest in Peace.
This is truly the death of an American Hero … US Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf has died at the age of 78.
Retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf has passed away in Tampa, FL at the age 78 from complications from pneumonia. Many remember Gen. Schwarzkopf as the commander of the United States led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in 1991 during Desert Storm. Schwarzkopf had a long and distinguished military career after graduating from West Point.
An American Hero: General Norman Schwarzkopf – Rest in Peace
Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn’t care much for his popular “Stormin’ Norman” nickname.
The seemingly no-nonsense Desert Storm commander’s reputed temper with aides and subordinates supposedly earned him that rough-and-ready moniker. But others around the general, who died Thursday in Tampa, Fla., at age 78 from complications from pneumonia, knew him as a friendly, talkative and even jovial figure who preferred the somewhat milder sobriquet given by his troops: “The Bear.”
That one perhaps suited him better later in his life, when he supported various national causes and children’s charities while eschewing the spotlight and resisting efforts to draft him to run for political office.
He lived out a quiet retirement in Tampa, where he’d served his last military assignment and where an elementary school bearing his name is testament to his standing in the community.
From the New York Times comes the explanation of Schwarzkopf’s bravery. He was awarded a Silver Star for his actions. This one just one of three Silver Star that he was awarded during is service in Vietnam.
On May 28, the colonel ordered his helicopter down to rescue troops who had wandered into a minefield. Some were airlifted out, but he stayed behind with his troops. A soldier tripped a mine, shattering his leg and wounding the colonel, who crawled atop the thrashing victim to stop him from setting off more mines. Three other troopers were killed by an exploding mine, but the colonel led the survivors to safety. The incident sealed his reputation as a commander willing to risk his life for his men.
Rest in Peace.
Actor Jack Klugman Best Known for Rolls in “The Odd Couple” and “Quincy” Dies in Los Angeles at Age 90
The Odd Couple reunited in Heaven … Jack Klugman passes away at age 90.
Jack Klugman, April 27, 1922 – December 24, 2012, Rest in Peace
Jack Klugman, the legendary TV actor best know for his roles as Oscar Madison, the NYC sportswriter and roommate of Felix Unger in the TV show ‘The Odd Couple’ and the crime fighting medical examiner in ‘Quincy, ME’ has passed away in Los Angeles, CA at the age of 90. The messy and impulsive Klugman was a great contrast Tony Randall in ‘The Odd Couple”. Its hard to believe the show was only on for 5 seasons. Later Klugman would play a crime fighting medical examiner from 1976 to 1983. It was the precursor of the present day CSI shows. Klugman died with his wife at his side.
“The Odd Couple” … One of the greatest comedies ever!
Jack Klugman, the prolific, craggy-faced character actor and regular guy who was loved by millions as the messy one in TV’s “The Odd Couple” and the crime-fighting coroner in “Quincy, M.E.,” died Monday, a son said. He was 90.
Klugman, who lost his voice to throat cancer in the 1980s and trained himself to speak again, died with his wife at his side.
“He had a great life and he enjoyed every moment of it and he would encourage others to do the same,” son Adam Klugman said.
Adam Klugman said he was spending Christmas with his brother, David, and their families. Their father had been convalescing for some time but had apparently died suddenly and they were not sure of the exact cause.
His good friend Tony Randall died in 2004 at age 84.
The Narcissist in Chief … Because it’s all about Barack Obama.
Unbelievable, Yesterday during the funeral for Democrat Hawaiian Senator Inouye in Washington, DC, President Barack Obama decided to make opportunity about himself and his life. This actually went on for 10 minutes. This president truly has issues. The politics of “I”. What an ego his dude has. As stated by the American Thinker, “Obama likes to see events through the lens of his own life’s chronology” Because it’s all about him.
Barack Obama referred to himself 63 times, Obama used the word “my” 21 times, “me” 12 times, and “I” 30 times.
UPDATE I: From Slate - President Obama was supposed to eulogize the memory of Sen. Daniel Inouye. Instead he told us about his favorite summer vacation.
Obama likes to see events through the lens of his own life’s chronology. Thus we learn that Inouye was elected to the Senate when Obama was 2 years old. Now you could make this relevant by describing how Inouye worked to send federal dollars (you don’t have to call it “pork” at a funeral) to transform Hawaii’s roads and schools, for example, so that the Hawaii Obama grew up in had the kind of facilities people on the mainland had long taken for granted. But no, we simply learn that Inouye was Obama’s senator until he left the state to go to college—something apparently more momentous than anything Inouye did during his decades in office.
US Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii died at the age of 88 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD from respiratory complications. He served in WWII, was a member of Congress and a US Senator since 1962. In 1959 when he was elected to the House because the first Japanese American elected to Congress. Since 2010 Sen. Inouye had been the Senate’s president pro tempore, which put him third in the line of succession for the presidency. Inouye was also a Medal of Honor recipient. Rest in Peace.
Daniel K. Inouye … Rest in Peace
Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, a highly decorated World War II combat veteran who used his status as one of the most powerful Democrats in Washington and the second-longest-serving senator in history to send billions of dollars to his home islands, died Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. He was 88.
Peter Boyland, a spokesman for the senator, said the cause was respiratory complications.
He cut a singular figure in the nation’s capital when he arrived in Washington in 1959 as a representative from the newest state and the first Japanese American elected to Congress.
Actor Larry Hagman of ‘Dallas’ and ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ Fame Dies at Age 81 in Texas from Complications of Cancer
Larry Hagman, the actor who played such iconic roles as Major Anthony Nelson and J.R Ewing of ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ and ‘Dallas’ fame, respectively, has passed away at the age of 81 due to complications of cancer. Hagman was surrounded by his family and friends in Texas and died peacefully as per a family statement. Never has an actor been so loved and hated as to the roles that Hagman portrayed. From the bumbling and comical character of astronaut Major Nelson and everyone’s dream to have a problem like how to deal with a Jeannie, Barbara Eden, to the ruthless, conniving and mischievous Dallas business man J.R. Ewing … Rest in Peace Larry Hagman.
Rest in Peace: (September 21, 1931 – November 23, 2012)
“Larry was back in his beloved hometown of Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved the most. Larry’s family and closest friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday,” the family said in a statement that was provided to The Associated Press by Warner Bros., producer of the show. The 81-year-old actor was surrounded by friends and family before he passed peacefully, “just as he’d wished for,” the statement said.
The original pilot of I Dream of Jeannie … Major Nelson meets Jeanie for the first time at 2:12 mark
For those of you who are too young to know that TV used to actually have fantastic drama programming, not ridiculous ‘reality” tv on every channel and before a DVR was ever heard of, Friday nights from 1978 to 1991 were reserved to watch ’Dallas’. For those who think that the choosing of the Apprentice or who is the final one standing on Survivor, Dancing with the Stars or American Idol were events, it had nothing on the story line of “Who Shot J.R.” that captured the collective imagination and forever entered the American lexicon of individuals in the 1980′s.
On this day in 1980, 350 million people around the world tune in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. J.R. had been shot on the season-ending episode the previous March 21, which now stands as one of television’s most famous cliffhangers. The plot twist inspired widespread media coverage and left America wondering “Who shot J.R.?” for the next eight months. The November 21 episode solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, as the culprit.
Warner Bros.”Dallas” executive producers Cynthia Cidre and Michael M. Robin, and the show’s cast and crew released the following statement:
“Larry Hagman was a giant, a larger-than-life personality whose iconic performance as J.R. Ewing will endure as one of the most indelible in entertainment history. He truly loved portraying this globally recognized character, and he leaves a legacy of entertainment, generosity and grace. Everyone at Warner Bros. and in the “Dallas” family is deeply saddened by Larry’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and dear friends during this difficult time.”
Former US Senator & 1972 Democrat Presidential Candidate George McGovern Dies at Age 90, Rest in Peace
George McGovern, the former Democrat presidential candidate and South Dakota Senator has died at age 90 in a Sioux Falls, South Dakota hospice surrounded by family and friends. McGovern was a U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961, a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981, a Democrat President candidate in 1972 and a the face of his party’s liberal wing.
George McGovern, 1922 – 2012: Rest in Peace
Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern died at a hospice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Sunday, at the age of 90.
McGovern’s family announced his passing in a statement, first reported by the Associated Press.
McGovern represented South Dakota’s first district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961, and was a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981, where he was a champion of his party’s liberal wing.
McGovern was the Democratic presidential candidate in the 1972 election, losing in a landslide to then-president Richard Nixon.