Phil Everly, Dead at the age of 74 … Rest in Peace.
Phil Everly, the legendary singer, who along with his brother Don, made up the iconic singing duo, The Everly Brother died Friday at the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease brought on after a lifetime of cigarette smoking. He was 74. The music icons, the Everly Bothers, were highly influential with other such recording acts as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds and countless other rock, folk and country singers. Phil Everly also wrote Linda Ronstadt’s biggest hits of her career in 1975 with her recording of “When Will I Be Loved.” Rolling Stone named the Everly Brothers are the most important vocal duo in rock. The The Everly Brothers were among the first 10 performers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Phil Everly will truly be missed and so will the fantastic sound of the Everly Brothers. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore. Thank you so much for the music.
Singer Phil Everly Dies but his Music will live on Forever … Rest in Peace
Legendary pop singer Phil Everly, who together with his brother, Don, formed one of the 1960s most popular pop duos, died Friday, his wife, Patti Everly, told the Los Angeles Times. He was 74.
“We are absolutely heartbroken,” she told the newspaper, adding that Everly’s death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was brought on after a lifetime of cigarette smoking. “He fought long and hard.”
The Everly Brothers charted nearly three dozen hits in their heyday from the late ’50s through the early ’60s. Some of their most notable songs – “Cathy’s Clown,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Bye Bye Love,” “When Will I Be Loved” and “All I Have to Do is Dream” – have become pop staples and influenced major acts such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Byrds, the Times reported.
In all, their career spanned five decades, although they performed separately from 1973 to 1983. In their heyday between 1957 and 1962, they had 19 top 40 hits.
The two broke up amid quarrelling in 1973 after 16 years of hits, then reunited in 1983, “sealing it with a hug,” Phil Everly said.
And the song that launched their career … The Everly Brothers: Live – Bye Bye Love, 1957
Dick Clark presenting his top 10 from July 1960 … One of my favorites, “Cathy’s Clown”
The Everly Brothers Reunion Concert Live at the Royal Albert Hall in London, 1983
How did Peter O’Toole never win an Oscar for best actor?
Peter O’Toole, the legendary actor who appeared in such classic movies like, Lawrence of Arabia, The Lion of Winter, My Favorite Year, The Stunt Man and so many more has died at the age of 81. They just don’t make them like this any more and sadly we are losing them far too often these days. Peter O’Toole received eight Academy awards nominations for best actor, but he never won. However, he did receive a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award in 2003 for his brilliant acting work throughout his career. My favorite role of O’Toole’s is still Lawrence of Arabia, rest in peace.
The actor Peter O’Toole who found stardom in David Lean’s masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia, has died aged 81, his family has announced.
The acclaimed leading man who overcame stomach cancer in the 1970s passed away at the Wellington hospital in London following a long illness.
His daughter Kate O’Toole said: “His family are very appreciative and completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of real love and affection being expressed towards him, and to us, during this unhappy time. Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts.”
O’Toole announced last year he was stopping acting saying: “I bid the profession a dry-eyed and profoundly grateful farewell.”
The UK Telegraph provides us with Peter O’Toole’s top 10 films.
He was born Peter Seamus O’Toole in Ireland in 1933. His father, known as “the Captain,” lived the itinerant life of a racetrack bookie and settled in Leeds, England, where the young Peter grew up avoiding school and its attendant nuns as much as possible. An early, abortive career in journalism led to the Navy, which led to nothing much, and in 1952, O’Toole found himself stranded in Stratford with 30 shillings to his name. He spent the money on a theater ticket; the play was King Lear and the star Sir Michael Redgrave. O’Toole immediately knew what he wanted to do with his life.
The next day he hitchhiked to London and charmed his way into the Royal Academy, scholarship and all. After seven years of the itinerant players’ life, O’Toole caught the critics’ notice in Hamlet and scored a triumph in the anti-war play The Long and the Short and the Tall. The film offers poured in.
O’Toole was part of the 1954 graduating class of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art along with Richard Burton, Albert Finney, and Alan Bates. After a supernova first decade — a 10-year run from 1958 to 1968 that included two stage Hamlets, two filmed Henry IIs, and an incandescent, career-defining title role in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia — O’Toole let the momentum slip. The 1970s were a blur of bombs and bad health; the comeback in the early 1980s was gratifying but never fully took hold.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Original Theatrical Trailer
American rock singer, songwriter and guitar legend Lewis Allan “Lou” Reed passed away Sunday at the age of 71 at his home in South Hampton, NY on Long Island. The cause of death was not provided; however, Reed underwent a liver transplant in May 2013. On a personal note I was saddened to learn this news as I was a huge Reed fan. Having older sisters that introduced me to his music at a young age, I just loved his sound and song writing. From his days with the Velvet Underground to going solo, when music was music, what a tremendous talent … he will be missed. Thank you for your music and Rest in Peace.
And for one final time, let’s ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side’
The condolences and well wishes are pouring in on Lou Reed’s Facebook.
Official Lou Reed website.
Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today on Long Island. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.
With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example. “One chord is fine,” he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. “Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”
Lewis Allan “Lou” Reed was born in Brooklyn, in 1942. A fan of doo-wop and early rock & roll (he movingly inducted Dion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989), Reed also took formative inspiration during his studies at Syracuse University with the poet Delmore Schwartz. After college, he worked as a staff songwriter for the novelty label Pickwick Records (where he had a minor hit in 1964 with a dance-song parody called “The Ostrich”). In the mid-Sixties, Reed befriended Welsh musician John Cale, a classically trained violist who had performed with groundbreaking minimalist composer La Monte Young. Reed and Cale formed a band called the Primitives, then changed their name to the Warlocks. After meeting guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, they became the Velvet Underground.
Guest on Night Music w/ David Sanborn 1989 TV
The cause was liver disease, said Dr. Charles Miller of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, where Mr. Reed had liver transplant surgery earlier this year and was being treated again until a few days ago.
“I’ve always believed that there’s an amazing number of things you can do through a rock ‘n’ roll song,” Mr. Reed once told the journalist Kristine McKenna, “and that you can do serious writing in a rock song if you can somehow do it without losing the beat. The things I’ve written about wouldn’t be considered a big deal if they appeared in a book or movie.”
Mr. Reed played the sport of alienating listeners, defending the right to contradict himself in hostile interviews, to contradict his transgressive image by idealizing sweet or old-fashioned values in word or sound, or to present intuition as blunt logic. But his early work assured him a permanent audience.
Helen Thomas dead at age 92 …
Helen Thomas, the long time liberal White House reporter is dead at the age of 92. She was considered the dean of the White House press corp at the height of her career; however, sadly she became seen as come one who hated and was bitter to conservatives and Jews. Although she was a trailblazer for female reporters, sadly and more so pathetically her career as a White House legend collapsed in a 2010 interview with a rabbi in which she said Israelis should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany and Poland.”
Helen Thomas, whose career covering the White House dated back to the Kennedy administration, died on Saturday at the age of 92, the Gridiron Club announced in an email to members on Saturday.
Thomas was the first woman to join the White House Correspondents’ Association, and the first woman to serve as its president. She was also the first female member of the Gridiron Club, Washington’s historic press group. She served for 57 years at United Press International, first as a correspondent then as a White House bureau chief, before becoming a columnist for Hearst Papers.
“Former Gridiron Club president Helen Thomas, our first female member, died Saturday morning at her Washington apartment after a long illness,” Gridiron’s Carl P. Leubsdorf wrote in an email to members. “She would have been 93 next month.”
UPDATE I: Isn’t this special, HAMAS Mourns Helen Thomas’ death.
Not long after the passing of veteran American journalist Helen Thomas yesterday, aged 92, Hamas’ very own “military wing”, the Izzedeene al-Qassam Brigades, posted on its website a heartfelt eulogy.
The post – highlighted by the Elder of Zion blog – was entitled: “Rest in Peace Helen Thomas. We respect you for taking a stand.”
Actor James Gandolfini, better known for his role as Tony Soprano, suffered a massive heart attack and is dead at age 51. Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. How very sad, Gandolfini was one of my favorite actors. Maybe because for many years I lived in New Jersey and pretty much knew every location where they shot scenes of The Soprano’s. Like the Bada Bing, that was really Satin Dolls in Lodi, NJ. Then there was Beansie’s pizzeria in Paterson, Bates College was Drew University in Madison and last but not least, Tony’s home in North Caldwell, NJ. How I miss the show and will miss James Gandolfini. He rose to stardom in 1999 when he was cast as Tony Soprano and won 3 Emmy awards as the troubled and flawed crime boss during the show’s six season run.
As stated at IMDb, New Jersey-born James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater. His Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. James’ breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hitman in Tony Scott’s True Romance. James Gandolfini also stared in some of my favorite movies, Crimson Tide, A Civil Action, The Mexican, The Last Castle, but will always be known for his role as Tony Soprano.
More at Deadline Hollywood.
James Gandolfini, (September 18, 1961 – June 19, 2013) … Rest in Peace
James Gandolfini, the New Jersey-bred actor who delighted audiences as mob boss Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” has died following a massive heart attack in Italy, a source told the Daily News.
“Everyone is in tears,” the source close to the 51-year-old TV tough guy said.
A press-shy celeb who got his start as a character actor and became famous relatively late in his career — thanks to his breakout role on “The Sopranos,” Gandolfini has largely avoided the spotlight since the last season of the beloved show aired in 2007.
Wiki: Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey. His mother, Santa, a high school lunch lady, was born in the USA, of Italian ancestry, and raised in Naples, Italy. His father, James Joseph Gandolfini, Sr., a native of Borgotaro, Italy, was a bricklayer, cement mason, and later the head custodian at Paramus Catholic High School, New Jersey. James, Sr., also earned a Purple Heart in World War II. His parents were devout Roman Catholics and spoke Italian at home. Due to such influence, Gandolfini had a strong sense of being Italian, and regularly visited Italy.
Mr. Gandolfini’s death was confirmed by HBO. He was traveling in Rome, where he was on vacation and was scheduled to attend the Taormina Film Festival. A cause of death was not immediately announced; a press representative for HBO said that Mr. Gandolfini may have died from a heart attack, though other news reports said he died from a stroke.
Mr. Gandolfini, who grew up in Park Ridge, in Bergen County, N.J., came to embody the resilience of the Garden State on “The Sopranos,” a television drama that made its debut in 1999 and ran for six seasons on HBO.
In its pilot episode, viewers were introduced to the richly complicated life of Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mob kingpin who is suffering from panic attacks and begins seeing a therapist. Over 86 episodes, audiences followed Mr. Gandolfini in the role as he was tormented by his mother (played by Nancy Marchand), his wife (Edie Falco), rival mobsters, the occasional surreal dream sequence and, in 2007, a famously ambiguous series finale which left millions of viewers wondering whether or not Tony Soprano had met his fate at the table of a diner.
Sadly, it appears that there will be no Soprano’s movie now. I was kind of hoping that the cast would get back together as the show ended far too soon. We are only left with the final scene of The Soprano’s.
Final Scene of HBO’s The Soprano’s
‘All in the Family’s’ Edith Bunker … Jean Stapleton Dies at Age 90 … Edith and Archie Bunker Reunited in Heaven, Rest in Peace
Edith Bunker dead at age 90.
Emmy award winning actress Jean Stapleton, who is best known for her role as Archie Bunker’s wife Edith in the long-running 1970′s television series “All in the Family,” died Friday at her New York City home at the age of 90. According to reports she died of natural causes. She is survived by her son, John Putch, and her daughter, television producer Pamela Putch. Her husband, William Putch, died in 1983.
How very, very sad. How I loved ‘All in the Family’. Carol O’Conner and Jean Stapleton were a perfect match. Stapleton appeared in “All In The Family,” one of the greatest comedy shows of all time, from 1971 to 1979. Although Jean Stapleton, Edith Bunker, played the submission wife to Archie who was constantly told to “stifle” and called a “ding-bat,” her heart was huge and her submissive, not so bright nature was only to a point. Her rye sense of humor was fantastic. However, there was an unselfish love between Edith and Archie, where she could see more in him than just a loud mouth bigot. The Normal Lear comedy was ground breaking an spun off other great shows like ‘The Jefferson’s’ and ‘Maud”. Carol O’Conner passed away on June 21, 2001.
Those were the days … they certainly were.
All in the Family Theme song - the late Carol O’Conner and Jean Stapleton
From the LA Times:
She had been a veteran of stage, film and television when she was cast in the CBS sitcom opposite Carroll O’Connor’s loud-mouthed, bigoted Archie Bunker, who often addressed her as “dingbat.” She won three Emmys for the role.
“The benign, compassionate presence she developed made my egregious churl bearable,” O’Connor wrote of Stapleton in his 1998 autobiography. He died in 2001.
Born in New York City on Jan. 19, 1923, Stapleton was the daughter of a billboard advertising salesman and an opera singer.
Jeanne Murray was born in Manhattan on Jan. 19, 1923. Her father, Joseph, was an advertising salesman; her mother, Marie Stapleton, was a concert and opera singer, and music was very much a part of her young life. Young Jeanne was a singer as well, which might be surprising to those who knew Ms. Stapleton only from “All in the Family,” which opened every week with Edith and Archie singing the song “Those Were the Days.” Ms. Stapleton’s screechy half of the duet was all Edith; the actress herself had a long history of charming musical performances. She was in the original casts of “Bells Are Ringing” and “Damn Yankees” on Broadway in the 1950s, and “Funny Girl,” with Barbra Streisand, in the 1960s, in which she sang “If a Girl Isn’t Pretty” and “Find Yourself a Man.” Off Broadway in 1991, she played Julia Child, singing the recipe for chocolate cake in the mini-musical “Bon Appétit.” On television, she sang with the Muppets.
“All in the Family” was Ms. Stapleton’s first television series, but before that she appeared as a guest on several shows, including “Dr. Kildare,” with Richard Chamberlain, “My Three Sons,” “Car 54, Where Are You?” and the courtroom drama “The Defenders,” starring E.G. Marshall, in which she played the owner of a boarding house who accused one of her tenants — played by Mr. O’Connor — of murder.
UPDATE I: Ann Althouse has a fantastic, must see VIDEO of an interview with Jean Stapleton from 2000. Stapleton talks about her entire career, including the first time she met Carol O’Conner and her later role as Edith Bunker providing zingers at Archie. that broke his “hot air” and “burst his bubble”.
Retired NASCAR Driver Dick Trickle dead at 71 of Apparant Suicide, Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound … RIP
Former NASCAR drive Dick Trickle died Thursday at the age of 71 form an apparent suicide. According to Lincoln County, NC, sheriff’s department, the incident occurred at 12:02 p.m. ET at Forest Lawn Cemetery off Highway 150 in Boger City, NC where Trickle died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. Prior to his death, he called the Lincoln County Communications Center and stated that “there would be a dead body and it would be his.” How tragically sad. Trickle was a throw back of days gone by in NASCAR racing and frankly one I wish still existed rather the over-commercialized one of today.
Richard “Dick” Trickle (October 27, 1941 – May 16, 2013) … RIP
Retired stock-car driver Dick Trickle, known for his colorful name and short-track prowess, died on Thursday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71.
According to the Lincoln County, N.C., sheriff’s department, the incident occurred at 12:02 p.m. ET at Forest Lawn Cemetery off Highway 150 in Boger City.
The Lincoln County Communications Center received a call, apparently from Trickle, that “there would be a dead body and it would be his.” Center workers tried to place a return call to the number but did not get an answer.
Emergency units found Trickle’s body lying near his pickup truck when they arrived.
Lt. Tim Johnson, who heads the Lincoln County detective department, said that at the family’s request, no additional information would be released at this time.
Fantastic VIDEO of Dick Trickle smoking a cigarette during the race in a NASCAR world that was so much more different than the sanitized one of today … When it used to be called ”Winston” Cup racing
More on the life of Richard “Dick” Trickle and his legendary short tack racing from CNN.
Richard “Dick” Trickle — who parlayed a legendary reputation as a short-track driver into a full-time career on stock car racing’s biggest stages in the 1990s — died Thursday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, a North Carolina sheriff’s office said. He was 71.
The Wisconsin-born Trickle raced during the 1970s and 1980s, then broke through as a full-time and widely recognized NASCAR driver in 1989. By that time, according to a Sports Illustrated article, the 48-year-old grandfather of two had won some 1,200 stock car competitions in 31 years of racing.
The death of true comedy …
Legendary comic and impersonator Jonathan Winters has passed away at his home in Montecito, California at age 87. The world just got a little less funny with his passing. Jonathan Winters was simply hysterical. Remember an era of comedy that was not mean spirited, laced with profanity and witty, neither do I. But during Winters’ era it was. Winters was a comic genius who could switch in and out of character impersonations like we switch a light switch or today’s generations change their Facebook status, tweet or text. Winters inspired generations of improve comics, probably none better than Robbin Williams. And as fate would have it, Winters would later have a role on Williams’ popular TV show ‘Mork & Mindy’ VIDEO) as his son Merth. However, I remember Winters best for his role in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Just priceless comedy. The gas station scene (VIDEO) with Winters and Fred Silver … just too funny. This movie just never gets old. And who can forget when Jonathon Winters was a special guest crime solving with the Scooby Doo gang (VIDEO) where he played himself, Jonathan Winters, the not so famous comedian, hahaha. We shall miss you.
Jonathan Winters, November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013 - RIP
Mr. Winters was at his best when winging it, confounding television hosts and luckless straight men with his rapid-fire delivery of bizarre observations uttered by characters like Elwood P. Suggins, a Midwestern Everyman, or one-off creations like the woodland sprite who bounded onto Jack Paar’s late-night show and simperingly proclaimed: “I’m the voice of spring. I bring you little goodies from the forest.”
A one-man sketch factory, Mr. Winters could re-enact Hollywood movies, complete with sound effects, or create sublime comic nonsense with simple props like a pen-and-pencil set.
The unpredictable, often surreal quality of his humor had a powerful influence on later comedians like Robin Williams but made him hard to package as an entertainer. His brilliant turns as a guest on programs like “The Steve Allen Show” and “The Tonight Show” — in both the Jack Paar and Johnny Carson eras — kept him in constant demand. But a successful television series eluded him, as did a Hollywood career, despite memorable performances in films like “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” “The Loved One” and “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming.”
Jonathan Winters roasts Johnny Carson
Jonathan Winters on the Jack Paar Show from 1964
Annette Funicello, One of the Original and Most Beloved Mouseketeers, Dies at Age 70 … Rest in Peace
One of America’s original Mouskeeteer sweethearts has passed …
Annette Funicello, one of the original and most beloved ‘Mousketeers’ from the 1950′s Mickey Mouse Club has died at the age of 70. According to a Disney statement, Funicello “died peacefully from complications due to multiple sclerosis, a disease she battled for over 25 years” at a Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, CA. Annette Funicello went on from a Mouseketeer to one of America’s sweethearts acting in numerous movies, including those memorable beach party movies in the early 1960′s with Frankie Avalon like “Bikini Beach” and ”Beach Blanket Bingo”. She also recorded more than 30 albums. Annette Funicello represents a time and innocence in America long since past and a movie star that with such incredible fame, always remained humble. Doctors diagnosed Funicello with multiple sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disease, in 1987. She kept the illness a secret until 1992, the year she established The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.
Annette Funicello: October 22, 1942 – April 8, 2013 … RIP
“We are so sorry to lose Mother,” her three children said in a statement. “She is no longer suffering anymore and is now dancing in heaven. We love and will miss her terribly.”
Funicello was just 13 when she was selected by Walt Disney himself to be one of the original Mouseketeers of the “Mickey Mouse Club,” the 1950s television variety show aimed at children.
Funicello, who had a background in dance, quickly became one of the most popular Mouseketeers.
She “was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mouseketeer, and a true Disney Legend,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said.
She remained with Disney after leaving the “Mickey Mouse Club,” appearing in TV shows including “Zorro” (1957), “The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca” (1958) and starring in the Disney feature films “The Shaggy Dog” (1959), “Babes in Toyland” (1961), “The Misadventures of Merlin Jones” (1964) and “The Monkey’s Uncle” (1965).
The most enduring images of Funicello, though, may be of her in a swimsuit, her primary wardrobe when she co-starred with teen idol Frankie Avalon in beach party movies in the early 1960s. These included “Beach Party” (1963), “Muscle Beach Party” (1964), “Bikini Beach” (1964), “Beach Blanket Bingo” (1965), and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini” (1965).
Annette Joanne Funicello was born on Oct. 22, 1942, in Utica, N.Y., and as the first grandchild on either side of the family was indulged to the point of being, in her own words, a “spoiled brat.” At age 2, she learned the words to every song on the hit parade, her favorite being “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive.”
In 1946, her parents decided to move to Southern California in the hope of doing better economically. They lived in a trailer park until her father, a mechanic, found work. They settled in Studio City and later moved to Encino.
Disney: Beloved Disney Mouseketeer and Iconic Teen Star Annette Funicello Dies at Age 70.
“Annette was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mousketeer, and a true Disney Legend. She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney’s brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent. Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace. All of us at Disney join with family, friends, and fans around the world in celebrating her extraordinary life.”
- Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.
Beach Blanket Bingo … Annette Funicello & Frankie Avalon
One thing is for certain, this is truly a sad day.
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.