Today sees the passing of two iconic figures, Annette Funicello (original member of the Mickey Mouse Club) and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (original member of the Iron Lady club).
Psst Never thought you would see Annette Funicello and Margaret Thatcher mentioned in the same sentence did you?
Dim the lights, two of my favorite actors passed away over Christmas, Jack Klugman and Charles Durning.
Jack Klugman, who was best remembered for his role as Oscar Madison the messy sports reporter in the Odd Couple and detective Quincy Jones , passed away suddenly. Klugman who battled throat cancer in the 1980s and trained himself to speak again was 90. RIP Jack Klugman.
Charles Durning, dubbed the “king of the character actors”, had played everything from Santa to a Nazi. His movies included The Sting, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Tootsie, To Be or Not to Be, Dog Day Afternoon and O Brother Where Art Thou? Durning was 89.
The last words that Ewarda O’Bara said to her mother before slipping into a coma in 1970 was “Promise you won’t leave me, will you, Mommy?” . And her mother and family kept that promise. Ewarda passed away today after spending 42 years in a coma after falling ill as a teenager and slipping into a diabetic coma. Edwarda’s mother stayed by her side for 38 years of those years, talking, reading and playing music to her. During those 38 years she cared for Edwarda at her home, refusing to institutionalize her, and had not slept for more than 90 minutes at a time. When Edwarda’s mother died 5 years ago Edwarda’s sister took over the care taking, which required her to be turned every two hours. Rest in peace.
The man who brought you Major Tony Nelson and JR Ewing has passed away. Larry Hagman, who was diagnosed with throat cancer last year, was best loved for his role as the “master” in I Dream of Jeannie and most despised for his role as the evil JR Ewing in the TV series Dallas. He told reporters ”As J.R. I could get away with anything – bribery, blackmail and adultery. But I got caught by cancer.”
Former Dallas cast members Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy were by his side when he passed away at a Dallas hospital. Larry Hagman was 81.
Actor and NFL great Alex Karras passed away this morning. Karras played for the Detroit Lions before heading to Hollywood. He’s probably best known as the lovable father to Webster in the 1980s sitcom which also starred his wife. He also played Mongo in the movie “Blazing Saddles”. Karras was 77.
Oh my, the winner of a roach eating competition in Florida has died. The 32 year old man, one of 30 contestants vying for a pet python, became ill and collapsed shortly after the contest ended. Authorities are waiting on autopsy results to determine the cause of death. Hmm, I can pretty much guess.
Self proclaimed Messiah and cult leader Myung Moon has died. The leader of the Moonies and the man behind mass weddings died in South Korea from pneumonia.Moon was 92.
One of the last true Hollywood legends has die. Ernest Borgnine,who won an Oscar for his role in Marty and made us laugh in the TV series McHale’s Navy has passed away at the age of 95.
TV icon Andy Griffith has died at the age of 86. He will be best loved for his roles in Matlock and the Andy Griffith Show.
Robin Gibb has sadly passed away following his very public battle with cancer. Robin, one third of the super group Bee Gees, had just completed a classical work The Titanic Requiem with his son Robin-John when he fell into a coma due to phenomenon following surgery. The requiem premiered in London without him. Andy, Maurice and Robin all gone too soon.