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Thread: Rest In Peace.

  1. #141
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    May you rest in peace, Michael Chrichton You will be greatly missed.
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  2. #142
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    RIP Mr. Johnson. I fondly remember him most in the Your's, Mine and Our's that starred Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda and in the Caine Mutiny.

    Actor Van Johnson Dies at 92 - washingtonpost.com

    Actor Van Johnson Dies at 92

    Hollywood Star Rode Boyish Good Looks to Enormous Popularity in the 1940s

    In this Feb. 9, 1963 file photo, actor Van Johnson, right, poses with actress Janet Leigh during the filming of "Wives and Lovers." Family friend Wendy Bleiweiss says Johnson died Friday at the Tappan Zee Manor, an assisted living center, in Nyack, N.Y. He was 92.

    Van Johnson, 92, a disarming and popular Hollywood star of 1940s musicals and comedies who later proved effective as a G.I. grunt in "Battleground" and a conflicted Naval officer in "The Caine Mutiny," has died.


    Mr. Johnson died Dec. 12 at Tappan Zee Manor, a senior citizens home in Nyack, N.Y. No cause of death was immediately reported.

    Starting in the late 1940s, Mr. Johnson took many viewers and reviewers by surprise for his dramatic performances.

    He was especially good as a presidential candidate's wily campaign manager in Frank Capra's "State of the Union" (1948) with Spencer Tracy as his client. Mr. Johnson also portrayed a sneaky aide to a general in "Command Decision" (1948); and a cynical rifleman in William Wellman's "Battleground" (1949), a film praised for its harrowing depiction of combat during the Battle of the Bulge.

    Mr. Johnson was singled out by critics as the executive officer who sells out the paranoid Capt. Queeg (played by Humphrey Bogart) in "The Caine Mutiny" (1954), based on a best-selling novel by Herman Wouk. New York Times movie reviewer Bosley Crowther praised Mr. Johnson for conveying the "distress and resolution" required of the part.

    All of those films almost totally reversed the screen persona Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio chief Louis B. Mayer first established for Mr. Johnson, a onetime Broadway chorus boy elevated to immediate stardom during World War II.

    Injures from a car crash prevented Mr. Johnson from being drafted during the war. In the absence of many male rivals, he was heavily promoted and became extremely popular.


    Tall and freckled, with strawberry-blond hair, he was dubbed "The Voiceless Sinatra" because of his appeal among bobbysoxers.

    He was an easygoing fit for musicals with Judy Garland ("In the Good Old Summertime"), Esther Williams ("Easy to Wed," "Thrill of a Romance," "Duchess of Idaho") and June Allyson and Gloria DeHaven ("Two Girls and a Sailor"), in which they were the girls and he the sailor.

    He also played romantically inclined wartime pilots in "A Guy Named Joe" and "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo," both dramas in which he showed he could hold his own against co-star Spencer Tracy.

    In the second -- in which Mr. Johnson played a pilot in the Doolittle raid over Japan -- movie reviewer Crowther wrote that Mr. Johnson gave "a warm and brave performance and managed quite well to achieve a moving tenderness in love scenes and rigid strength in the action field."

    For the rest of his heyday, Mr. Johnson alternated between lighter pictures ("Brigadoon" with Gene Kelly, "The Bride Goes Wild" with Allyson) and efforts to expand his repertoire.

    He was a homicide detective in the low-budget noir "Scene of the Crime" (1949), an alcoholic in "The Big Hangover" (1950) and a blind detective in "23 Paces to Baker Street" (1956).

    He said he saddled up for the middling western "Siege at Red River" (1954) for one reason: "For 12 years, I begged Metro to put me on a horse -- just once. No dice."

    Charles Van Johnson, whose father was a plumbing contractor, was born Aug. 25, 1916, in Newport, R.I.

    His parents divorced, and he was raised by a strict father who discouraged his early interest in acting. His mother, an alcoholic, disappeared from his life until 1946, when he got her a studio job. She later sued him to increase her financial support, and they settled out of court.

    After high school graduation, Mr. Johnson headed to New York with $10 to find work as an actor.

    Within a few months, he won a part in the Broadway revue "New Faces of 1936," which also featured comedian Imogene Coca. He later said he got the part by mistake, when a director mistakenly ordered him to get onstage for a scene. He said he had only been in the theater to attend rehearsal with a friend in the show.

    Afterward, he appeared in a series of stage and nightclub acts. Producer George Abbott cast him as a student in the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical "Too Many Girls" (1939) and also made him the understudy to the three male leads, Desi Arnaz, Eddie Bracken and Richard Kollmar.

    The next year, Abbott rewarded Mr. Johnson with the part of Gene Kelly's understudy in the Broadway production of "Pal Joey," also a Rodgers and Hart musical.

    A Hollywood screen test led to his leading role in the Warner Brothers cheapie "Murder in the Big House" (1942) with Faye Emerson, but the studio was unimpressed (so were ticketbuyers) and let his brief contract expire. He had better luck at MGM, largely through the support of actress Lucille Ball, whom he had befriended.

    At MGM, Mr. Johnson underwent an apprenticeship as the second lead in a handful of pictures, including "Somewhere I'll Find You" with Clark Gable and "Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant" with Lionel Barrymore. He was also Mickey Rooney's older brother in the wartime tearjerker set on the homefront, "The Human Comedy" (1943).

    While starring with Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne in "A Guy Named Joe" (1943), he was in a car accident that resulted in a metal plate being inserted into his head. He was left with a scar that was often covered up, but which he let show in some of his grittier films.

    He later spoke with appreciation of Tracy and Dunne for using their clout to halt filming during Mr. Johnson's three-month medical recovery. He won positive reviews in the movie, which led to frequent work during the next several years. By 1945, only Bing Crosby was a bigger box office star.

    Mr. Johnson reportedly turned down the role of Elliott Ness in the television crime series "The Untouchables" in 1959. His film work soon dwindled, but he returned for a small role in Woody Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo" (1985) as a patrician 1930s film character who has trouble improvising when one of the cast members (Jeff Daniels) jumps offscreen into reality.

    Mr. Johnson began to call himself the King of Dinner Theater, as he spent decades as a fixture on the regional stage. He also became a mainstay of guest spots on television dramas, notably on "Murder, She Wrote," which starred his old MGM colleague Angela Lansbury.

    A painter since his MGM days, Mr. Johnson had several one-man shows. He told People magazine he developed a devil-may-care style he dubbed "Van Go": "I like to paint in one swell foop."

    Mr. Johnson had a famously difficult private life. He married Evie Abbott Wynn in Juarez in 1947 on the day her divorce became final from actor Keenan Wynn, who had been Mr. Johnson's best friend.

    Studio chief Mayer encouraged the union to quell rumors about Mr. Johnson's alleged homosexuality, according to Mayer scholar Scott Eyman. Mayer also gave Keenan Wynn a better movie contract so he would not complain.

    The Johnsons, who became known for hosting sumptuous Hollywood parties, were divorced in 1962 in a bitter proceeding. Their daughter, Schuyler, became estranged from her father and wrote a scathing first-person account of him in 2005 that appeared in the Mail on Sunday, a London newspaper.
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  3. #143
    Shark Week! dagwood's Avatar
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    RIP Mr. Johnson. I fondly remember him most in the Your's, Mine and Our's
    Same here. Darrel is a very memorable character. I love that movie.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Johnson. You will be missed.

  4. #144
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Another sad farewell to Majel Barrett Roddenbury who has just died of leukemia at age 76. Who can forget her involvement in Star Trek as First Officer #1 in the pilot, as Nurse Christine Chapel in TOS, as Lwaxana Troi in TNS, and as the voice of the computer in so many. Happily, she was able to complete her voice overs again as the computer in J J Abrams new ST movie.

    SPACE.com -- Majel Roddenberry, Widow of 'Trek' Creator, Dies
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  5. #145
    runs with scissors waywyrd's Avatar
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    I had no idea she did the computer voice for the series OR the movies. Some Trekkie I am!

    RIP, Majel.
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  6. #146
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Here's a shocker...Eartha Kitt died today.

    TV - Eartha Kitt, sultry 'Santa Baby' singer, dies

    Eartha Kitt, sultry 'Santa Baby' singer, dies

    NEW YORK — Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died, a family spokesman said. She was 81.

    Andrew Freedman said Kitt, who was recently treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, died Thursday in Connecticut of colon cancer.

    Kitt, a self-proclaimed "sex kitten" famous for her catlike purr, was one of America's most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and nabbing a third nomination. She also was nominated for several Tonys and two Grammys.

    Her career spanned six decades, from her start as a dancer with the famed Katherine Dunham troupe to cabarets and acting and singing on stage, in movies and on television. She persevered through an unhappy childhood as a mixed-race daughter of the South and made headlines in the 1960s for denouncing the Vietnam War during a visit to the White House.

    Through the years, Kitt remained a picture of vitality and attracted fans less than half her age even as she neared 80.

    When her book "Rejuvenate," a guide to staying physically fit, was published in 2001, Kitt was featured on the cover in a long, curve-hugging black dress with a figure that some 20-year-old women would envy. Kitt also wrote three autobiographies.

    Once dubbed the "most exciting woman in the world" by Orson Welles, she spent much of her life single, though brief romances with the rich and famous peppered her younger years.

    After becoming a hit singing "Monotonous" in the Broadway revue "New Faces of 1952," Kitt appeared in "Mrs. Patterson" in 1954-55. (Some references say she earned a Tony nomination for "Mrs. Patterson," but only winners were publicly announced at that time.) She also made appearances in "Shinbone Alley" and "The Owl and the Pussycat."

    Her first album, "RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt," came out in 1954, featuring such songs as "I Want to Be Evil," "C'est Si Bon" and the saucy gold digger's theme song "Santa Baby," which is revived on radio each Christmas.

    The next year, the record company released follow-up album "That Bad Eartha," which featured "Let's Do It," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy."

    In 1996, she was nominated for a Grammy in the category of traditional pop vocal performance for her album "Back in Business." She also had been nominated in the children's recording category for the 1969 record "Folk Tales of the Tribes of Africa."

    Kitt also acted in movies, playing the lead female role opposite Nat King Cole in "St. Louis Blues" in 1958 and more recently appearing in "Boomerang" and "Harriet the Spy" in the 1990s.

    On television, she was the sexy Catwoman on the popular "Batman" series in 1967-68, replacing Julie Newmar who originated the role. A guest appearance on an episode of "I Spy" brought Kitt an Emmy nomination in 1966.

    "Generally the whole entertainment business now is bland," she said in a 1996 Associated Press interview. "It depends so much on gadgetry and flash now. You don't have to have talent to be in the business today.

    "I think we had to have something to offer, if you wanted to be recognized as worth paying for."

    Kitt was plainspoken about causes she believed in. Her anti-war comments at the White House came as she attended a White House luncheon hosted by Lady Bird Johnson.

    "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed," she told the group of about 50 women. "They rebel in the street. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."

    For four years afterward, Kitt performed almost exclusively overseas. She was investigated by the FBI and CIA, which allegedly found her to be foul-mouthed and promiscuous.

    "The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth — in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth — you get your face slapped and you get put out of work," Kitt told Essence magazine two decades later.

    In 1978, Kitt returned to Broadway in the musical "Timbuktu!" — which brought her a Tony nomination — and was invited back to the White House by President Jimmy Carter.

    In 2000, Kitt earned another Tony nod for "The Wild Party." She played the fairy godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" in 2002.

    As recently as October 2003, she was on Broadway after replacing Chita Rivera in a revival of "Nine."

    She also gained new fans as the voice of Yzma in the 2000 Disney animated feature "The Emperor's New Groove.'"

    In an online discussion at Washingtonpost.com in March 2005, shortly after Jamie Foxx and Morgan Freeman won Oscars, she expressed satisfaction that black performers "have more of a chance now than we did then to play larger parts."

    But she also said: "I don't carry myself as a black person but as a woman that belongs to everybody. After all, it's the general public that made (me) — not any one particular group. So I don't think of myself as belonging to any particular group and never have."

    Kitt was born in North, S.C., and her road to fame was the stuff of storybooks. In her autobiography, she wrote that her mother was black and Cherokee while her father was white, and she was left to live with relatives after her mother's new husband objected to taking in a mixed-race girl.

    An aunt eventually brought her to live in New York, where she attended the High School of Performing Arts, later dropping out to take various odd jobs.

    By chance, she dropped by an audition for the dance group run by Dunham, a pioneering African-American dancer. In 1946, Kitt was one of the Sans-Souci Singers in Dunham's Broadway production "Bal Negre."

    Kitt's travels with the Dunham troupe landed her a gig in a Paris nightclub in the early 1950s. Kitt was spotted by Welles, who cast her in his Paris stage production of "Faust."

    That led to a role in "New Faces of 1952," which featured such other stars-to-be as Carol Lawrence, Paul Lynde and, as a writer, Mel Brooks.

    While traveling the world as a dancer and singer in the 1950s, Kitt learned to perform in nearly a dozen languages and, over time, added songs in French, Spanish and even Turkish to her repertoire.

    "Usku Dara," a song Kitt said was taught to her by the wife of a Turkish admiral, was one of her first hits, though Kitt says her record company feared it too remote for American audiences to appreciate.

    Song titles such as "I Want to be Evil" and "Just an Old Fashioned Girl" seem to reflect the paradoxes in Kitt's private life.

    Over the years, Kitt had liaisons with wealthy men, including Revlon founder Charles Revson, who showered her with lavish gifts.

    In 1960, she married Bill McDonald but divorced him after the birth of their daughter, Kitt.

    While on stage, she was daringly sexy and always flirtatious. Offstage, however, Kitt described herself as shy and almost reclusive, remnants of feeling unwanted and unloved as a child. She referred to herself as "that little urchin cotton-picker from the South, Eartha Mae."

    For years, Kitt was unsure of her birthplace or birth date. In 1997, a group of students at historically black Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., located her birth certificate, which verified her birth date as Jan. 17, 1927. Kitt had previously celebrated on Jan. 26.

    The research into her background also showed Kitt was the daughter of a white man, a poor cotton farmer.

    "I'm an orphan. But the public has adopted me and that has been my only family," she told the Post online. "The biggest family in the world is my fans."

  7. #147
    FORT Fanatic rcurrytoo's Avatar
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    May she rest in peace.

    I saw her in Timbuktu, she was fabulous! Her rendition of "St Louis Blues" is one of the best. When I was younger she always made Batman more exciting to watch, she was the best Catwoman!
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  8. #148
    MRD
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    I saw her play the Wicked Witch in a stage production of the Wizard of Oz. Mickey Rooney played the Wizard. Both were great.

    And I have been playing her version of Santa Baby all Christmas season.

    I loved her, was first exposed to her as Catwoman and then came to love her music.

    Rip in Peace Miss Kitt. You will be missed.
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  9. #149
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Attachment 25256

    Eartha Kitt = you were the original and the best ever Catwoman
    ----

    Sopranos Actor Dead in Apparent Suicide

    Attachment 25255

    An actor from HBO's The Sopranos has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

    John Costelloe, who played short-order cook Jim "Johnny Cakes" Witowski on the hit HBO series in 2006, was found dead in an apparent suicide on Dec. 18 at his Brooklyn, N.Y., home, Police spokesman Lt. John Grimpel confirms to the Associated Press. .../more

    So very sad. May he rest in peace.

    Sopranos Actor Dead in Apparent Suicide : People.com
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  10. #150
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Re: Rest In Peace.

    Attachment 25258
    Forgot to attach this photo.
    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

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