This has been a tough week for television parents! We lost June Cleaver, Mrs. Brady was kicked of Dancing With the Stars, and Tom Bosley, one of our favorite television dads, died yesterday of heart failure Tuesday after a battle with lung cancer. He was 83. His wife, Patricia Carr, said that he had just completed chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer, which was diagnosed five months ago.
Of course, Bosley was best known for playing Mr. C – Howard Cunningham – on Happy Days from 1974-1984. Bosley’s professional acting career began on stage in the 1950s, including a Tony for his role as New York City Mayor LaGuardia in the 1959 musical “Fiorello!”
In addition to Happy Days, Bosley made several appearances on The Love Boat, and played a recurring character – Sheriff Amos Tupper – on Murder She Wrote. After Happy Days, he starred on Father Dowling Mysteries from 1987-1991 as Father Dowling.
And many of us remember his Glad Bags commercials:
Question: In the video for ‘Time After Time’, where do Cyndi Lauper and her boyfriend live?
Last Week’s Question: What actress played Laura and Almanzo’s niece on Little House on the Prairie?
Answer: Shannen Doherty
Pre-Beverly Hills 90210 star Shannen Doherty played Jenny Wilder from 1982-1983. This was Little House on the Prairie‘s jump-the-shark years, when Michael Landon was no longer on the show. After Almanzo’s brother’s died, Laura (Melissa Gilbert) and Almanzo (Dean Butler) took in his daughter Jenny. There’s no truth to the rumor that Shannen Doherty and Melissa Gilbert got into catfights on the set.
According to the Associated Press, Police have confirmed that “Diff’rent Strokes” actor Gary Coleman’s death has been ruled an accident.
Santaquin Police Chief Dennis Howard said an autopsy found Coleman died of natural causes after an accidental fall. The finding matches the evidence police found at Coleman’s Santaquin home on May 26, Howard told The Associated Press.
Coleman’s wife, Shannon Price has responded. The following is from Fox 13 in Utah:
Gary Coleman’s wife is responding to her former husband’s autopsy results that revealed the fall at his home was an accident. Shannon Price, Coleman’s common law wife, Shannon Price says her life was turned upside down after the death of the man she loved and who she considered her husband, even though they were divorced.
“I feel there have been people that have just sabotaged me and just given me a bad name and I’ll never see it, but I do believe everyone owes me an apology that has trashed me out there because I’m not a horrible person, I would never want to kill my husband,” Price said.
Price says clearing her name is one thing, but what she wants more than anything now is for Coleman’s remains to be released to her. His body was cremated and the court has not decided who will get his ashes.
“I have a lot of mixed emotions but I honestly whatever people have said about me I just actually put it behind me because I know I did the right thing for Gary it was the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life but I don’t think I pulled the plug too soon,” Price said.
Price is now writing a book about her life with Coleman. The book is to be called “My Life with Gary Coleman” and is expected to be done in a few months.
Coleman’s estate is still undecided as to who takes ownership.
The home that Price and Coleman shared in Santaquin is still up for sale.
it was 1970 somethin’
in the world that I grew up in
Farah Fawcett hairdo days
Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) starred in Charlie’s Angels for only 1 season (1976-1977), but what an impact she made on pop culture! She became an international sex symbol, and her hair style was emulated by millions of young women in the 1970s and early 1980s. In 1978, she developed her own brand of hair care products, marketed by Fabergé, for which she appeared in a series of commercials and print ads.
Fawcett was married to Lee Majors, star of TV’s The Six Million Dollar Man and The Fall Guy, from 1973 to 1982, although the couple separated in 1979. Then from 1982 to 1997, Fawcett was involved with actor Ryan O’Neal.
Farrah Fawcett made her mark on the ’80s by starring in the television movie The Burning Bed, from which she earned an Emmy nomination. She played a battered woman, and the movie was the first to provide an 800 number that offered help for people in that situation – in this case, victims of domestic abuse.
Over the years, she starred in several other movies.
In 2006, Farrah was diagnosed with anal cancer. She went through chemo and surgery, and on her 60th birthday, it was reported that she was cancer-free. However, four months later a malignant polyp was found where she had been treated for the initial cancer. She then went through all kinds of alternative treatments. But, on May 7, 2009, she was reported as critically ill. A two-hour documentary Farrah’s Story, which was filmed by Fawcett and friend Alana Stewart, aired on NBC on May 15, 2009. The documentary was watched by nearly nine million people, and Fawcett earned her fourth Emmy nomination posthumously on July 16, 2009, as producer of Farrah’s Story. Fawcett died at approximately 9:28 a.m., PDT on June 25, 2009, in the intensive care unit of Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. And as we all know, this was overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson later that day.
Charlie’s Angels co star Kate Jackson said “I will miss Farrah every day. She was a selfless person who loved her family and friends with all her heart, and what a big heart it was. Farrah showed immense courage and grace throughout her illness and was an inspiration to those around her. When I think of Farrah I will remember her kindness, her cutting dry wit and, of course, her beautiful smile.”
“Today when you think of Farrah remember her smiling, because that is exactly how she wanted to be remembered.”
Question: Who griped of his duo’s MTV image: “It’s not as simple as me being the melodic one or John being the one with the mustache”?
Last Week’s Question:What disease killed off Mark Harmon’s character on St. Elsewhere?
Before there were those McWhatevers on Grey’s Anatomy, Mark Harmon (who now stars in the great show, NCIS) played Dr. Bobby Caldwell on St. Elsewhere. He was a plastic surgeon at at St. Eligius. He had an affair with hospital administrator Joan Halloran (Nancy Stafford). Bobby ended the relationship because he thought they were superficial, and he wanted something more meaningful. However, he ended up having a series of empty flings and one-night stands. Eventually, Bobby was diagnosed with HIV. This was the first time a main character on series TV contracted the virus, and it was one of the first times a heterosexual character contracted the virus. When word of his HIV status got out, Bobby was told he could no longer be involved in patient care at the hospital, though he initially refused to leave. Devastated at his diagnosis and the impact it had on his career, he almost committed suicide, but was interrupted by a neighbor’s child knocking at his door requesting his help. He then decided to go on with his life, but he left St. Eligius, and Boston, towards the end of season 4, to go and work part-time in an AIDS hospice on the West Coast. Two years later, during season 6, his friends and former colleagues at St. Eligius were informed that he’d died.
Even though the Emmy show will be this coming weekend, the creative arts ceremony took place this past Saturday. “Golden Girl” Betty White won her fifth Emmy at that event. She won for best guest actress in a comedy series for her turn as “Saturday Night Live” host. She did not attend the ceremony. Her previous wins came for the sitcoms “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Golden Girls.”
She is on the TV Land comedy “Hot in Cleveland”, which just aired it’s first season finale last week.
Comedy legend Rodney Dangerfield is…Dead. Hey, I had to pick somebody that was dead! If I only picked celebrities that were alive, this would be a “Where Are They Now” segment instead of a “Dead or Alive” Segment. But I will give Rodney some “Respect”.
Rodney Dangerfield (November 22, 1921 – October 5, 2004), was actually born Jacob Cohen. As a teenager, he got his start writing jokes for standup comics; he became one himself at 19 under the name Jack Roy, which is what he legally changed his name to.
However, he struggled as a comedian for many years.
So, he decided to come up with an image that audiences could relate to and that would distinguish him from similar comics. He took the name Rodney Dangerfield, which he remembered from a comedy routine on Jack Benny’s radio program in the 40s. He began to develop the image of a lovable but laughable “everyman” who gets no respect and became a nightclub hit in the 60s.
His popularity exploded at the dawn of the ’80s when he starred in 1980’s Caddyshack. He was a standout among fellow comedic actors such as Ted Knight, Chevy Chase, and Bill Murray.
He even had a music video for “Rappin’ Rodney” in 1983:
Rodney became the leading man in two more films, Easy Money (1983), and Back to School (1986) which was one of the first comedies to gross over $100 million. His first dramatic role was that of the abusive father in Oliver Stone’s successful film, Natural Born Killers (1994). He made several more films – twenty in all – but most of them went directly to video.
On April 8, 2003, Dangerfield underwent brain surgery to improve blood flow in preparation for heart valve-replacement surgery on August 24, 2004. Upon entering the hospital, he uttered another characteristic one-liner when asked how long he would be hospitalized: “If all goes well, about a week. If not, about an hour and a half.”
In September 2004, it was revealed that Dangerfield had been in a coma for several weeks. Afterward, he began breathing on his own and showing signs of awareness when visited by friends. However, on October 5, 2004, he died at the UCLA Medical Center, from complications of the surgery he had undergone in August. He was a month and a half short of his 83rd birthday. Dangerfield was buried in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. In keeping with his “no respect” persona, his headstone reads simply, “Rodney Dangerfield… There goes the neighborhood.”:
Here are some great quotes from Dangerfield:
I worked in a pet store and people kept asking how big I’d get.
My mother never breast fed me. She told me that she only liked me as a friend.
I remember the time I was kidnapped and they sent back a piece of my finger to my father. He said he wanted more proof.
I was tired one night and I went to the bar to have a few drinks. The bartender asked me, “What’ll you have?” I said, “Surprise me.” He showed me a naked picture of my wife.
I told my dentist my teeth are going yellow. He told me to wear a brown necktie.
When I was born the doctor took one look at my face, turned me over and said, “Look, twins!”
I get no respect at all – When I was a kid, I lost my parents at the beach. I asked a lifeguard to help me find them. He said “I don’t know kid, there are so many places they could hide”.
I’m getting so old my insurance company sends me 1/2 a calendar!
I told my doctor I wanna stop aging, he gave me a gun!
Question: What rock band agreed to bleach their hair blonde in order to do a chewing gum commercial? (Hint: The band was a trio)
Last Week’s Question: What brother and sister both appeared (before either was famous) in bit parts in 1984’s Sixteen Candles?
Answer: John and Joan Cusack
Before Better Off Dead, and Say Anything…, John Cusak played the nerd Bryce in Sixteen Candles. He must really have had no self esteem if Anthony Michael Hall’s “The Geek” was his leader.
And Joan was hilarious as an even bigger geek with a neck brace:
Although George Gaynes was alive at the time of this original posting 6 years ago, sadly, he passed away at his home in North Bend, Washington on February 15, 2016. He was 98.
George Gaines, best known for playing the eccentric Commandant Eric Lassard in the Police Academy series and Henry Warnimont on Punky Brewster is…ALIVE.
George Gaynes was born in in Helsinki, Finland on May 16, 1917. He played Commandant Eric Lassard, who was in charge of the police academy. He travelled by golfcart, and tended to destroy things while golfing in his office.
He also played John Van Horn in the movie Tootsie, in which he was a horny old soap star, who tried to put the moves on “Dorothy Michaels,” not knowing that Dorothy was really a man.
He was more well known to television viewers for playing the lovable curmudgeon Henry Warnimont, who took in Punky Brewster.
I never watched General Hospital, but Gaines played a mob boss called Frank Smith, who was brought down by Luke Spencer. Maybe fans of that soap could give us more information.
George Gaines has been married to actress and dancer Allyn Ann McLerie since December 20, 1953, and they have two children – Matthew and Iya. George and Allyn live in Calabasas, California.
On this day in 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant’s history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue. Williams originally made history on September 17, 1983, when she became the first black woman to win the Miss America crown. Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles, the first runner-up and also an African American, assumed Williams’ tiara for the two months that remained of her reign.
Vanessa Lynn Williams was born March 18, 1963, in Millwood, New York, to music teacher parents. She attended Syracuse University and studied musical theater. In 1982, while working a summer job as a receptionist at a modeling agency in Mt. Kisco, New York, photographer Thomas Chiapel took the nude pictures of Williams, telling her they’d be shot in silhouette and that she wouldn’t be recognizable. After Williams became Miss America, the photographer sold the pictures to Penthouse without her knowledge. Williams later dropped lawsuits against the magazine and photographer after it was learned that she had signed a model release form at the time the photos were taken.
The Miss America pageant, which prides itself on projecting a wholesome, positive image of women, began in 1921 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a stunt developed by local businessmen to extend the summer tourist season. In 1945, the Miss America Organization handed out its first scholarship. Today, it provides over $45 million each year in cash and tuition assistance to contestants on the national, state and local levels. In 1954, the competition was broadcast live for the first time. Beginning in the 1980s, contestants were required to have a social platform, such as drunk-driving prevention or AIDS awareness, and Miss America winners now travel an estimated 20,000 miles a month for speaking engagements and public appearances. In 2006, following a decline in TV ratings, the pageant moved from Atlantic City for the first time in its history and took place in Las Vegas, where a new Miss America was crowned in January instead of September.
Vanessa Williams rebounded from the Miss America scandal and went on to a successful entertainment career as an actress and recording artist, performing on Broadway as well as in movies and television and releasing a number of popular albums.
I don’t know about anybody else, but Vanessa Williams is the only Miss America that I can remember. It reminds me of the line from the Styx hit “Miss America”:
In your cage at the human zoo, they all stop to look at you
Next year, what will you do when you have been forgotten
But despite the scandal, Williams went on to a successful career. In 1988, she had success with the album and the song “The Right Stuff”:
As far as her music goes, her biggest success came in 1992 with the number 1 smash hit, “Save the Best for Last”:
I had actually bought that one on cassette single. Remember those? And more recently Williams had success on the hit show Ugly Betty, which just finished its last season.