Tag Archives: Actors

A long list of famous people that died in 2016 and why it matters to so many of us. By Mike Limon

29 Dec


Last night, Wednesday, December 28, 2016,  news broke out on social media informing us  that Debbie Reynolds had passed away after being taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. This shocked many of us because we were just getting over the news that her daughter, Carrie Fisher, had passed away the day before. These deaths hit us hard because they were so sudden and they came one after another.We barely had time to process the death of one celebrity when news of another one passing away had hit us. All over the world, people die everyday. You just don’t hear about it unless it’s somebody famous. But why does the news of somebody famous dying affect so many of us and how? My personal belief is that even though we may have never met these celebrities, they are a part of our lives. Whether they were singers, actors, athletes, astronauts, etc, they entertained us in one way or another. They made an impact on the world. We can all relate to the songs, movies, and characters that they played in movies, and when the celebrity passes away, we somehow feel that a part of our lives is somehow now missing. Could it be because we won’t see them on the screen or TV anymore? For many of us, we grew up watching and listening to these people, so in essence, a part of our childhood is now gone, and that’s why it affects us so deeply. Plus the fact that we admired so many of these people, and the talent that they had. I felt this way when my mother passed away, and then my mother-in-law passed away. Two important women in my life had gone.Though they weren’t famous, they mattered to one person; me. I knew that I wouldn’t be seeing or talking to them anymore.

But there is good news in all of these sudden deaths. We can still see the movies that these actors made. We can still hear the music that these musicians created. Yes, life will go on for the rest of us, and more famous people will pass away, but hopefully it won’t happen like it did in December of 2016. So sudden and so quickly. Rest in Peace to all of our celebrity friends who passed away, whether you knew them personally or not, they were people, and many of them great personalities. They will be missed, but their contributions in making this world a better place will continue for a very long time!

  1. Robert Stigwood, 81
  2. Pierre Boulez, 90
  3. Kitty Kallen, 93
  4. Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, 55
  5. Pat Harrington Jr., 86
  6. Angus Scrimm, 89
  7. Keith Emerson, 71
  8. Phife Dawg, 45
  9. Mike Minor, 75
  10. David Bowie, 69
  11. Harper Lee, 89
  12. Sir George Martin, 90
  13. Vilmos Zsigmond, 85
  14. David Huddleston, 85
  15. Alan Rickman, 69
  16. Kevin Meaney, 60
  17. René Angélil, 73
  18. Dan Haggerty, 74
  19. Noreen Corcoran, 72
  20. Monte Irvin, 96
  21. Abe Vigoda, 94
  22. Glenn Frey, 67
  23. Paul Kantner,74
  24. Maurice White, 74
  25. Katie May, 34
  26. Denise Matthews, known as Vanity, 57
  27. Matt Roberts, 38
  28. Cara McCollum, 24
  29. Fred Hellerman, 89
  30. George Kennedy, 91
  31. Pat Conroy, 70
  32. Joey Feek, 40
  33. Garry Shandling, 66
  34. Patty Duke, 69
  35. Zaha Hadid, 65
  36. James Noble, 94
  37. Bob Elliott, 92
  38. Merle Haggard, 79
  39. Daisy Lewellyn, 36
  40. Doris Roberts, 90
  41. Chyna, real name Joan Marie Laurer, 46
  42. Prince, 57
  43. Billy Paul, 80
  44. Pete Fountain, 86
  45. Jon Polito, 65
  46. Richard Libertini, 82
  47. Madeleine Lebeau, 92
  48. Guy Clark, 74
  49. Morley Safer, 84
  50. Nick Menza, 51
  51. Gordie Howe, known as “Mr. Hockey,” 88
  52. Muhammad Ali, 74
  53. George Gaynes, 98
  54. Christina Grimmie, 22
  55. Lee Reherman, 49
  56. Theresa Saldana, 61
  57. Ann Morgan Guilbert, 87
  58. Ron Lester, 45
  59. Anton Yelchin, 27
  60. Bernie Worrell, 72
  61. Bill Cunningham, 87
  62. Bill Nunn, 63
  63. George Burton, 78
  64. Stanley Dural Jr., known as Buckwheat Zydeco, 68
  65. Curtis Hanson, 71
  66. Ryan Jimmo, 34
  67. Jim Harrison, 78
  68. Larry Drake, 66
  69. Frank Sinatra Jr., 72
  70. Bud Spencer, 86
  71. Buddy Ryan, 85
  72. Juan Gabriel, 66
  73. Attrell Cordes, 46
  74. Pat Summitt, 64
  75. Elie Wiesel, 87
  76. Michael Cimino, 77
  77. Michu Meszaros, 77
  78. Michelle McNamara, 46
  79. Noel Neill, 95
  80. Garry Marshall, 81
  81. Gloria DeHaven, 91
  82. Jerry Doyle, 60
  83. John Saunders, 61
  84. Kenny Baker, 81
  85. John McLaughlin, 89
  86. Steven Hill, 94
  87. Scotty Moore, 84
  88. Gene Wilder, 83
  89. Anna Dewdney, 50
  90. Ken Howard, 71
  91. Alexis Arquette, 47
  92. Charmian Carr, 73
  93. W.P. Kinsella, 81
  94. Kimbo Slice, 42
  95. Edward Albee, 88
  96. The Lady Chablis, 59
  97. Hugh O’Brian, 91
  98. Jean Shepard, 82
  99. Jose Fernandez, 24
  100. Arnold Palmer, 87
  101. Michael Massee, 64
  102. Phil Chess, 95
  103. Dylan Rieder, 28
  104. Julie Gregg, 79
  105. Leonard Cohen, 82
  106. Robert Vaughn, 83
  107. Leon Russell, 74
  108. Gwen Ifill, 61
  109. Ron Glass, 71
  110. Florence Henderson, 82
  111. Joseph Mascolo, 87
  112. Fritz Weaver, 90
  113. Tommy Ford, 52
  114. Gloria Naylor, 66
  115. Margaret Whitton, 67
  116. Dr. George Nichopoulos, 88
  117. Dave Mirra, 41
  118. Van Williams, 82
  119. William Schallert, 93
  120. Andrew Sachs, 86
  121. George Alaskey, 63
  122. Alan Young, 96
  123. Darwyn Cooke, 53
  124. Will Smith, former New Orleans Saints’ player, 34
  125. Billy Chapin, 72
  126. Greg Lake, 69
  127. Sharon Jones, 60
  128. Alan Thicke, 69
  129. Bernard Fox, 89
  130. Craig Sager, 65
  131. Ricky Harris, 54
  132. Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99
  133. Richard Adams, 96
  134. George Michael, 53
  135. Carrie Fisher, 60
  136. Debbie Reynolds, 84

Other notable public figures who died in 2016 include:

  1. Nancy Reagan, 94
  2. Janet Reno, 78
  3. Tom Hayden, 76
  4. Youree Dell Harris, 53
  5. Fidel Castro, 90
  6. Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88
  7. Rob Ford, 46
  8. Uhmberto Eco, 84
  9. John Glenn, 77
  10. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93
  11. Antonin Scalia, 79
  12. Edgar Mitchell, 85
  13. Dale Bumpers, 90
  14. Mike Oxley, 71
  15. Mother Mary Angelica, 92

Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Series book review

16 Nov

andy and don

Andy & Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show

By  Daniel de Vise

A Book Review by Michael Limon

This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for a book review

Andy and Don: The Making of a Friendship and a Classic American TV Show is a love story between two Hollywood actors and best friends. In his book, author Daniel de Vise goes into great detail describing the lives of both men both professionally and personally. He starts out with each man’s background, and how they actually got into acting. In fact, the two men would have never met at all if they had not just missed out on prior acting auditions, and met up at the audition for No Time for Sergeants. Andy Griffith and Don Knotts would become lifelong friends after working on that play. Each man married three times, and the author dives into their marriages. It was surprising to me to discover that the nice Sheriff from Mayberry was prone to drinking and had a terrible temper which he often took out on his first wife. Don Knotts recently out of work saw his pal Andy on his new show, The Andy Griffith Show. Thinking quickly and not telling anyone, he places a phone call to Griffith with one basic question. “Don’t you think the Sheriff out to have a deputy?” Eventually, Knotts is hired, and Deputy Barney Fife is born. Griffith was also a shrewd businessman and when Knotts was eager to leave The Andy Griffith Show, Andy offered him a percentage of the show (Andy Griffith was a part owner of The Andy Griffith Show) and thought that Don wanted at least 50 percent of the show. Knott turns it down, ultimately leaving the TV series and goes on to make feature films like The Ghost and Mrs. Chicken, and Mr. Limpet amongst others. Again the author goes into details about Barney Fife’s last episode which was very touching. Knotts does come back and visits the series in guest spots as well as two Andy Griffith Return to Mayberry specials. The book also talks about how Knotts landed the part of Mr. Furley on Three’s Company. The producers were actually looking for him and he didn’t need to audition for the role. They just hired him. Griffith was not as successful as first, but does eventually go on to making some movies and is hired as Matlock the southern attorney. I really enjoyed reading this book. It is detailed with many facts and the timeline is in order. It gives the reader an insight into how hard it is to be an actor and the struggles that they go through. One aspect of Andy Griffith’s life that I found fascinating was that he actually held a grudge with many of the people in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, the town where he grew up. He never forgot or forgave the people that burned him or would not help him when he first started out. He kept that grudge going years later when he retired and returned to North Carolina. Another nice part of the book is when Don Knotts is on his deathbed. Andy rushes to the hospital and tells his best friend, “Come on Jess. That’s it. Breathe!” Jess was Don Knotts first name, and Griffith often called him by it, which Knotts didn’t care for. Andy Griffith would join his friend in death some six years later after his health failed. This is a great love story between two men who loved each other’s company, and spent as much time together as possible. When they weren’t together they were on the phone with each other. If you are a fan of either man, or just a fan of the shows that they were in, this book is for you. You can’t miss by buying it and reading it. It’s the kind of book that you can read again and again and still learn something that you might have missed in the first read. Very informative and well written!

Chad Everett has died

25 Jul

I know that during the course of a day, many people die. I have had my experience of having to deal with this process as my own daughter died in 2005, and during all my hospital visits in the last two years, I witness others dying. This is a very sad, and personal blog for me to write. Sherman Hemsley joins the latest list of actors to die in just this month alone. He brought many laughs to people, including myself.
Two  of my favorite actors that passed away (to use a better word), were James Arness & Ernest Bornine. Mr. Arness passed away in 2011, but I wanted to pay him homage here. While I never personally met Mr. Borgnine,  I have heard it said that he was a very kind and nice man. That he was a pleasure to meet. I’m only sorry that I didn’t get a chance to meet him. One of my favorite movies that he made was Marty for which he beat out several other famous actors at the time. He wrote in his book that he didn’t think that he would win that night. He was up against a friend and co-star, Frank Sinatra at the time.  I just think it’s sad that the american movie and television watching audience is losing some talented people. Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do about it. The Bible even tells us that there is a time and season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:2 a time to be born, and a time to die) My point is that even though this must happen, it seems to be happening a lot especially this month, and that is what I find so sad. The good news is that because of film and DVD’s, we can continue to see their excellent work. Even those who have never heard of these people can simply use a search engine and find out who these great people were. I hope that the remaining actors that we still  have will us like, Jack Klugman, and Mickey Rooney, just to name a couple of elderly men , are doing okay and are in good health. My congratulations to those who lived to a great old age, whether they are still with us or not. I welcome your comments on this subject.

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