Friday, December 27, 2013

Notable Passings, 2013, A-C

Allan Arbus, Dr. Sydney Freedman of "MASH"
As I get older, it seems more and more people die. But the number of deaths hasn't increased, it's the fact that more and more individuals I was familiar with while growing up are passing away. This year there seemed to be quite a few and I wanted to acknowledge them. Not just the really famous like Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine, but those who achieved a measure of notoriety like the puppeteer on Captain Kangaroo who did the voice for Mr. Moose, the lady who sang the Chock Full of Nuts jingle, and Sally Starr, the kiddie show hostess from the Philadelphia area who used to babysit me, my sister and brother on long afternoons after school before dinner. Not in person, of course, but on the TV. She would dress up in a spangled cowgirl's outfit and introduce Popeye, Courageous Cat, and Clutch Cargo cartoons. 
There are so many, I've broken them up into separate posts: 
Cosmo Allegretti, 86, puppeteer who gave life to such characters as the smart-alecky Mister Moose, the mischevious Bunny Rabbit, and the wise Grandfather Clock on the long-running “Captain Kangaroo” children’s TV series, appeared as an actor in such films as “Prince of the City” and “Author! Author!,” appeared on Broadway in “Requiem for a Heavyweight” with John Lithgow.
Patty Andrews, 94, last surviving member of the Andrews Sisters singing trio, recorded over 400 songs and sold over 400 million records including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” appeared with her siblings in numerous movies and TV shows and the Broadway show “Over Here.”
Michael Ansara, 91, star of the 1950s TV series “Broken Arrow,” played the Klingon commander  Kang on three different “Star Trek” series, films include “The Ten Commandments,” “The Robe,” and “Harum Scarum” with Elvis Presley, specialized in exotic role such as American Indians, Hispanics, and Arabs in hundreds of TV guest shots on such shows as  “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Outer Limits,” “Bewitched,” and “I Dream of Jeannie” opposite his then-wife Barbara Eden.
Allan Arbus, 95, actor best known as army psychiatrist Major Sydney Freedman on “MASH,” also appeared on “Taxi,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “The Rockford Files,” and “Curb Your Enthuiasm.”
Conrad Bain, 89, character actor best known for his roles on as the conservative neighbor on “Maude” and the adoptive father on “Different Strokes,” but he also had a distinguished stage career, appearing in “Candide,” “Advise and Consent,” “The Iceman Cometh,” “Steambath,” “Uncle Vanya,” and “On Borrowed Time.” 
Frank Bank, 71, played Lumpy on the 1950s sitcom “Leave It to Beaver.”
Karen Black in "Five Easy Pieces"
Karen Black, 74, Oscar nominee for “Five Easy Pieces,” had a breakout role in “Easy Rider” and became a leading star of 1970s films such as “Nashville,” “Portnoy’s Complaint,” “Airport 1975,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Day of the Locust,” “Family Plot,” and “Burnt Offerings,” achieved cult status for the TV-horror film “Trilogy of Terror,” starred on Broadway in “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,” and also the film version, both directed by Robert Altman.
Page Morton Black, 97, cabaret singer who warbled the famous “Chock Full O’ Nuts” coffee jingle on numerous radio and TV commercials.
Lee Blank, 77, documentary filmmaker whose subjects ranged from blues musicians to garlic and tea to gap-toothed women, his most famous work was “Burden of Dreams,” a behind-the-scenes chronicle of Werner Herzog’s collosal disaster “Fitzcarraldo.”
Eileen Brennan, 80, Oscar nominee for “Private Benjamin,” was a regular on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” memorable film performances in “The Last Picture Show,” “The Sting,” “Murder by Death,” “The Cheap Detective,” and “Clue,” also won an Emmy for the TV version of “Private Benjamin,” and was nominated for guest appearances on “Taxi,” “thirtysomething,”  “Newhart,” and “Will and Grace,” starred in the musicals “Little Mary Sunshine” (Obie and Theatre World awards) and “Hello, Dolly” as Irene Molloy.
Richard Briers, 79, British actor equally adept at situation comedy (“The Good Neighbors”) and Shakespearean tragedy (Kenneth Branagh’s films of “Hamlet” and “Henry V”), Tony nominated for “The Chairs” which he played on Broadway opposite Geraldine McEwan.
Henry Bromell, 65, novelist and short-story writer who later wrote for such TV shows as “Northern Exposure,” “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Chicago Hope,” and “Homeland.”
Jacqueline Brookes, 82, award-winning actress, her accolades included an Obie for “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and a Theater World Award for “The Cretan Woman,” she played Shakespeare, Moliere, and Albee as well as character roles in films such as “The Naked Gun 2 and ½: The Smell of Fear” and  “Losing Isiah” and on TV in such shows as “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “Law & Order,” and numerous daytime dramas.
Dr. Joyce Brothers, 85, popular TV psychiatrist, syndicated advice columnist, TV and film personality, appeared on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” over 100 times, played herself in such films as “Analyse That,” “Beethoven’s Fourth,” and “Dear God.”
Sylvia Browne, 77, psychic, made appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “Larry King Live” and “Unsolved Mysteries.”
D.J.R. Bruckner, 79, theater and book critic for the New York Times.
Dennis Burkley, 67, actor who voiced Principal Carl Moss on the animated “King of the Hill” series and appeared in such films as “The Doors,” “Tin Cup,” and “No Way Out.”
Helena Carroll, 84, Irish actress who appeared in the original company of Tennessee Williams’ “Small Craft Warnings” and the 1999 Broadway revival of “Waiting in the Wings.” Other Broadway credits include “Separate Tables,” “Oliver,” “Pickwick,” “Georgy,” and “Private Lives” with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. 
Sybil Christopher, 83, actress, owner of the trendy Manhattan nightclub Arthur, co-founder of Long Island’s Bay Street Theatre, one-time wife of Richard Burton, mother of actor Kate Burton.
Marilyn Coleman, 79, actress-singer who appeared on Broadway in “Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death,” “What the Wine Sellers Buy,” “Don’t Get God Started,” and “Mule Bone,” Off Broadway in “Five on the Black Hand Side” and “The Fabulous Miss Marie,” films include “Which Way Is Up” and “Looking for Mr. Goodbar.”
Joe Conley, 85, actor best known for his role as general-store owner Ike Godsey on “The Waltons” from 1971 to 1981, and in all six telefilms depicting reunions of the Depression-era family, other TV credits include “Mister Ed,” “Lassie,” “Dragnet,” “Gunsmoke,” and “Green Acres.”
Jane Connell as Queen Victoria on "Bewitched"
Jane Connell, 87, diminutive character actress best known for her performance as Agnes Gooch, the frumpy secretary who blossoms in the original Broadway production of the musical “Mame,” also played the role in the 1974 movie version and a 1983 revival, she was a comic hit in such Broadway shows as “New Faces of 1956,” “Drat! The Cat!,” “Dear World,” “Crazy for You,” “Me and My Gal” (Tony nomination), “Lend Me a Tenor,” “Moon Over Buffalo,” “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and “The Full Monty,” Off-Broadway included “The Threepenny Opera,” “The Golden Apple,” “Put It in Writing,” “The Rivals,” and the one-woman “The Singular Dorothy Parker,” also had recurring TV roles on “Captain Kangaroo,” “Bewitched,” and the short-lived “The Dumplings” as well as guest shots on “All in the Family,” “The Patty Duke Show,” “Green Acres,” “That Girl,” “MASH,” and “Law & Order.”
Jeanne Cooper, 84, longtime star of “The Young and the Restless” for which she was nominated for 11 Daytime Emmys and won one, other TV credits include “Perry Mason,” “The Twilight Zone,” and “The Man from UNCLE,” films include “The Redhead from Wyoming,” “The Boston Strangler” and “Tony Rome,” mother of actor Corbin Bersen whom she played opposite on his series “LA Law.”

Sam Crothers, 75, Broadway producer whose credits include “The Will Rogers Follies,” “The Life,” and “Sweet Smell of Success.”

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